Finally, the much awaited Hindu Marriage Bill in Pakistan becomes a law when the President Mamnoon Hussain gave his approval for this bill after the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The bill was unanimously passed in the National Assembly on 10th March 2017.
The Hindu families would now be able to register their marriage for the first time since India-Pakistan partition in 1947. The law also aims to safeguard the rights of the women and children after divorce.
Ramesh Kumar who is head of Pakistan Hindu Council made the following statement
“The Hindu Marriage Bill 2017 will solve all the problems faced by the Hindu community in Pakistan where violence and discrimination against religious minorities is a common spectacle”.
All You Need to Know about the Hindu Marriage Bill in Pakistan
# The law will provide protection to the Hindu marriages and safeguard the rights and interests of the families. In other words, it is a consolidated law that will solemnize the marriages of Hindu families in Pakistan.
# In a statement, the President of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has said that the Hindus have every right just like people of other communities to register their marriage. They are as patriotic as the Muslims and the state should provide equal protection to them.
# Hindu families would now be able to solemnize their marriage as per the rites, rituals and traditions. There will be separate marriage registrars set up where people would be able to register their marriage.
# The Hindu Marriage Bill in Pakistan will allow the Hindus to perform different procedures related to financial security of their families, termination of marriage, judicial separation etc.
# The law also allows a Hindu individual to marry again who has been separated from his wife either through divorce or death. However, there is a stipulated time that needs to be followed before marrying again.
# There is also a provision for punishment like fine up to Rs 1,00,000 or imprisonment or both. All the cases will be tried before first class magistrate.
# The law is applicable in the entire Pakistan except in the region of Sindhu where they have their own laws for Hindu marriage that was enacted last year only.
# The law will prohibit the marriage of minor Hindus. The minimum age to marry is 18 years for both boys and girls.
In a country of more than 180 million people, there are only 8.2 million Hindus living in Pakistan. After the end of British Rule in 1947, the country was divided into 2 parts that triggered widespread bloodshed where thousands of Hindu families were misplaced or killed. Earlier the Hindus were not able to acquire the legal documentation pertaining to their marriage which is now possible with the Hindu Marriage Bill in Pakistan.
The Ministry had been working on this bill for more than 3 years, Now the Hindus have an exclusive personal law that allows them to regulate marriage without any problems. With the President promulgating Hindu Marriage Bill in Pakistan, there is a wave of joy and freedom among all the Hindu families. The law is really a landmark amongst all the laws enacted by the Pakistan government since its separation from India. We are hopeful that it will remain the bad blood between the neighboring countries and bring them closer.
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