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KPK assembly passes resolution to declare Friday as public holiday

The assembly unanimously passed a resolution to declare Friday as the weekly day off instead of Sunday.

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The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly has passed several resolutions, including the restoration of Friday as a public holiday, preventing insults to the Companions and the Ahle-Bait, and sentencing people charged with blasphemy against the Companions and the Ahle-Bait to either death or life imprisonment.

Notably, Pakistan has already one of the strictest blasphemy laws to punish who allegedly insult Islam. Currently, there are about 80 convicts on death row or serving life imprisonment terms in Pakistan for committing “blasphemy”, according to the US Commission for International Religious Freedom.

The offences relating to religion were first codified by India’s British rulers in 1860, and were expanded in 1927. Pakistan inherited these laws when it came into existence after the partition of India in 1947.

Between 1980 and 1986, a number of clauses were added to the laws by the military government of General Zia-ul Haq. He wanted to “Islamicise” them and also legally to separate the Ahmadi community, declared non-Muslim in 1973, from the main body of Pakistan’s overwhelmingly Muslim population.

The assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday to declare Friday as the weekly day off instead of Sunday, highlighting the importance of Jumah Mubarak in Islam as the chief holiday of all days.

A few days ago, Sindh’s Provincial Assembly has proposed a new draft law on making the marriage of 18-year-olds mandatory as soon as possible.

Called the ‘Sindh Compulsory Marriage Act, 2021’, the proposed regulation recommends fines for parents who fail to marry their children off after they come of age, which in this case, is 18 years.

The Act details that in the event of delayed marriage, parents will be obligated to inform the Deputy Commissioner in writing, giving a comprehensive explanation for the same. If the reasoning indicates grounds for a fine, the bill states that the parents should deposit a fixed amount (which will be revealed after the Act is passed) into the official bank account of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office.

Read more: Ninth-grade student raises voice against ‘child marriage’

The bill has reportedly won the approval of numerous members of the Sindh Assembly, and its initial implementation phase is expected to be added to the federal pipeline in the coming weeks.

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