ISLAMABAD - A new Pakistani policy that allows a husband and a wife who are serving in the public sector to be deputed in the same place is winning praise for saving family life in the south Asian Muslim country.
"This is religiously and conventionally a very good step," Mufti Naeem, head of International Binoria University Karachi, told OnIslam.net.
The Pakistani government has unveiled a "wedlock" policy that allows a husband and a wife to work in the same place for an indefinite period.
"Family is much more important than any other segment of society," Fiza Batool Gilani, a daughter of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said last week.
"Therefore, the government is pleased to announce that from now all those couples who are working in public sector will be deputed at same place so that they could enjoy their family life," added Fiza, who is also an ambassador to United Nations for women empowerment.
Earlier, government employees were allowed to station at the same district for a limited period and one of them had to go back to his or her original deputation place after completion of that period.
Under the amended policy, all female teachers working in the federal government schools will not be deputed outside their native districts.
This will help women to give maximum time to their families.
"The major objective of this policy is not only to make their (couples in government service) lives easier but also to protect their families from different economic and social issues," Fiza said.
The wedlock policy had been a long-time demand of government employees, who had to stay away from their spouses for years.
In the past decades, many couples who happened to be in the government service broke up.
The problem has been deeper in the Foreign Service, where many diplomats either did not get married or got divorced over living live away from their partners for years.
"The government really understands what does work stress and distance cost your (couples working in government sector) lives," Fiza said.
"You and your family life are equally important for us."
Mufti says Islam exhorts followers to protest their family, which is the backbone of the society.
"Islam wants to protect the family that is why it has levied the economic burden on men, so that the women do not have to go out to earn," he told OnIslam.net.
"The motive behind this philosophy is to protect the family, because if both man and woman work, the family life, particularly kids are neglected."
Mufti opines that if this is unavoidable for a husband and wife to work, then they should at least stay together.
"Husbands and wives are meant for each other. Keeping them away on administrative grounds is a cruel act," he said, citing a ruling by second Caliph Omar, who made it mandatory for all soldiers not stay away from their wives for more than four months.
Psychologists also praise the new government policy to keep a husband and wife together.
"This is a very good decision, which will make the lives of those couples who are in government service, but have to stay away from each other, sane," Dr Haider Abbas, a professor of psychology at University of Karachi, told OnIslam.net.
"Husband and wife are two wheels of a vehicle. If one wheel is not working properly, the other wheel will automatically be disturbed."
Dr Abbas observes that long-distance marriage not only disturbs the couple's life, but also impacts the children as well.
"For children, presence of mother and father is equally essential. If one of them is missing, it will promote negativity in their lives," he said.
The psychologist thinks that the separation between a husband and a wife creates a sense of alienation and leads to various psychological disorders as depression, anger, and irritability.
"That's why those husbands or wives who have to stay away because of any reason either live an unhappy life or break up," he said.
Dr Abbas believes that the wedlock policy will also improve the working capacity of the government employees.
"Depression and irritability are two major causes of insomnia. A person who is suffering from insomnia cannot deliver the desired output," he said."But if his family life is happy, he or she may give the maximum output."