Sindh As­sem­bly ap­proves Hindu Mar­riage Bill

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

For the first time in the coun­try's his­tory mar­riage laws for mil­lions of Hin­dus liv­ing in Sindh have been cod­i­fied af­ter the Sindh As­sem­bly ap­proved the Hindu Mar­riage Bill, 2016 on Mon­day.

Se­nior PPP leader and Sindh Min­is­ter for Law and Par­lia­men­tary Affairs Nisar Ah­mad Khuhro moved the bill in the pro­vin­cial as­sem­bly which was later passed af­ter a de­bate be­tween the op­po­si­tion and trea­sury benches. The bride and groom can­not be less than 18 years, ac­cord­ing to the text of the ap­proved draft. Mar­ried cou­ples will be re­quired to ob­tain mar­riage reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cated while a cou­ple can also face fines in case their mar­riage is not reg­is­tered. Zoroas­tri­ans and Sikhs will also be able to reg­is­ter their mar­riages.

Hin­dus, de­spite be­ing the se­cond-largest religious mi­nor­ity group in Pak­istan, with a pop­u­la­tion of 3.3 mil­lion, had no le­gal mech­a­nism to reg­is­ter mar­riages. Un­like the Mus­lim ma­jor­ity or Chris­tians, Hin­dus lacked any le­gal frame­work for pro­tec­tion of their mar­riages and are un­able to pro­vide le­gal proof when re­quired.

Hindu women have had to face prob­lems in prov­ing their re­la­tion­ships when deal­ing with of­fi­cial­dom, while wid­ows were par­tic­u­larly dis­ad­van­taged. With­out of­fi­cial proof of re­la­tion­ships, get­ting govern­ment doc­u­ments is­sued or mov­ing for­ward on any other ac­tiv­ity which in­volves doc­u­men­ta­tion - from open­ing bank ac­counts to ap­ply­ing for visas - be­came next to im­pos­si­ble for any ci­ti­zen. Af­ter the 18th Amend­ment, the is­sues of religious mi­nori­ties and their fam­ily mat­ters be­came pro­vin­cial sub­jects.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.