It is not a mere statement of law but rather a statement of fact that parents are the real reason behind every successful person in the world. Abraham Lincoln once said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” The Islamic interpretation is also based on the same foundation, as Allah asks us to be kind to our parents.
The Quran says in verse 23 of Surah Isrā’:
“Your Lord has decreed that you shall not worship anyone except Him, and [He has enjoined] kindness to parents. Should any of them or both reach old age at your side, do not say to them, ‘Fie!’ And do not chide them, but speak to them noble words”
The Quran emphasises that children should respect their parents no matter what. The majority of Pakistani families do not believe in nuclear family concepts but extended family concepts are much more common, especially in the rural areas of the country. The general rule used to be that Pakistanis would cringe at sending their elderly parents to shelter homes, but due to the escalating trends of urbanisation and industrialisation, individuals who migrate for better professional opportunities had led to the problem of abandoning parents.
The true essence that led to the development of the Parent Protection Ordinance 2021 was the vulnerability of elderly parents who were evicted from the house by their arrogant adult children in Pakistan. This Act restrains children from evicting their parents even if the house is owned by the children. Under Section 3, the child will be fined Rs. 50,000/- and may face rigorous one-year imprisonment for eviction of their parents. The definition of parents given under Section 2(e) is inclusive of grandparents as well.
Under Section 4 of this new Ordinance, the parents have a right to evict their children who are above 18 years of age. If they fail to leave the house within seven days, they can be fined up to Rs. 50,000/- and may even face imprisonment for a month. The deputy commissioner is given the authority to look into this matter and cross-check with the official records that state that the property actually belongs to the parents. The police under this law make arrests without warrants simply upon receiving a phone call from parents. The arrested children are given a right to appeal within 30 days and appear before the magistrate court.
Regardless of the fact that the property is funded by parents in their name, the children who evict parents are barred from forcing their parents out of the house. Deputy Commissioner Amjad Shoaib imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the man who had kicked his parents out of his home to appease his wife. The DC directed the officials to evict the disobedient son from the house.
Now that the Act has come into existence, the real problem still persists, and that is the implementation of the Act. The issue is tricky as well as controversial.
Most Pakistani parents usually have a soft corner towards their disobedient children and no matter how much abuse they face, they will refrain from making a call to the police station. This needs to be changed. The elder citizens of the country need to acknowledge this law and understand that there will be remedies available to them. They should not worry about the aftermath as there will be no negative consequences. Public and private organisations can be of utmost help as they can run campaigns in rural areas by reaching out to senior citizens and making them aware of their rights.
No matter what ethnic diversities and cultural norms one dives into, caring for parents should be the ultimate way of life. There is a dire need of the application of this legislation so that unkind and abusive children can learn a lesson too. According to Sahih Bukhari, the most loved deed by Allah is when a Muslim is good and dutiful to his parent. The exhibition of respect towards parents for the sake of Allah is a deed that will be awarded in this life and hereafter. This is considered to be one of the greatest obligatory acts.