Sindh becomes first Pak province to adopt Hindu Marriage Bill

Hindustan Times: The Sindh Assembly on Monday passed the Hindu Marriage Bill 2015, becoming the first provincial legislature in Pakistan to formalise the recognition of marriages of the Hindu, Sikh and Jain minorities.

Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) general secretary Deepak Kumar Bhagchandani said the bill fulfilled a long-standing demand of the community as Hindu marriages were not formally registered till now.

The bill, moved by Sindh law minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, was passed after a debate. Khuhro said, “Since the creation of Pakistan, it is the first time that such a law is being passed. The decision has been taken to provide a mechanism for formally registering Hindu marriages in Sindh.”

Hindu leaders said the bill ensures the protection of rights of divorced women. “There is no room and concept of divorce in Hinduism but this law legitimises and preserves the rights of women if and when it happens,” said community member Pooja Rajput.

“It ensures the conservation of women’s matrimonial rights, such as pension for widows, share in husband’s property and the minimum marriage age of 18 years. This requirement will play its part in the much-needed renunciation of the Hindu community’s old customs and tradition of child marriages.”

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