Hindu Marriages New Venue : PAKISTAN

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By Siddharth Naidu

After decades of procrastination, the Hindu minority community in Pakistan will soon have a Marriage law, as a parliamentary panel curated for the issue, has unanimously approved the Hindu Marriage Bill.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Monday passed the final draft of Hindu Marriage Bill 2015, as  five Hindu lawmakers were specially invited to overlook the proceedings. The bill was unanimously adopted after making two amendments to fix the minimum age of the marrying male and female at 18,  and making the law applicable to the whole country.

Mr. Virk and ruling PML-N lawmaker Ramesh Kumar Vankwani had been pushing for approving the Bill for a long time now, but the members of other parliamentary parties persisted with raising objections.

Dr.Vankwani wanted to drop a clause in the Bill that said that the marriage will be nullified if any of the partners converted to Islam. This was inserted by the Council of Islamic Ideology when the Bill was sent for ‘Sharia vetting’ some six months ago.

“Why a Hindu and a Muslim or Christian cannot live together as happily married couple?” Dr. Vankwani questioned and opposed the clause

His suggestion to drop the clause, met stern resistance from Mr. Jumani and Mr. Khan after which Committee Chairman stopped the discussion to avoid “total collapse” of the meeting.

“If Hindu boys and girls elsewhere can marry into other religions why this cannot be a reality here?” Dr. Vankwani said, adding that open-mindedness is required in the society.

The Bill will now be introduced in the National Assembly where it has fair chances of being passed as the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party stands in its favour.