Pak­istani law al­lows Hind mar­riages to be reg­is­tered

The Star Malaysia - - World -

It will re­move all dif­fi­cul­ties for the reg­is­tra­tion of hindu mar­riages. Ramesh Ku­mar Vankwani

IS­LAM­ABAD: The pres­i­dent of mainly Mus­lim Pak­istan has signed into law a bill al­low­ing the Hindu mi­nor­ity to regis­ter their mar­riages for the first time since par­ti­tion from In­dia in 1947.

The bill, signed by Pres­i­dent Mam­noon Hus­sain on Sun­day, will “safe­guard the le­git­i­mate rights and in­ter­ests of Hindu fam­i­lies”, a gov­ern­ment state­ment said.

It will also al­low Hin­dus to file for di­vorce and re­marry, and will pro­tect the fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity of women and chil­dren af­ter di­vorce.

Ramesh Ku­mar Vankwani, head of the Pak­istan Hindu Coun­cil, said on Mon­day the leg­is­la­tion would solve many prob­lems faced by the com­mu­nity, where dis­crim­i­na­tion and vi­o­lence against reli­gious mi­nori­ties is com­mon­place.

“This law is a wel­come step ... It will re­move all dif­fi­cul­ties for the reg­is­tra­tion of Hindu mar­riages,” he said.

Fol­low­ing the end of Bri­tish rule in South Asia in 1947, the sub-con­ti­nent was par­ti­tioned into mainly Hindu In­dia and Pak­istan, trig­ger­ing wide­spread reli­gious blood­shed in which hun­dreds of thou­sands were killed and mil­lions dis­placed.

Since then, Pak­istani Hin­dus – who num­ber around 8.2 mil­lion out of an es­ti­mated 180 mil­lion peo­ple – have been un­able to ac­quire the le­gal doc­u­men­ta­tion needed to regis­ter mar­riages and an­nul­ments.

Law­mak­ers in the prov­ince of Sindh, where most Pak­istani Hin­dus live, passed their own pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tion last year al­low­ing Hin­dus to regis­ter mar­riages. — AFP

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