The Sindh Hindu Marriage Bill 2016 – What about Hindu Pakistanis of other Provinces??

In spite of the fact that Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan recognizes Hindus as equivalent citizens, however regardless it doesn't recognizes their union in marriages. The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1962 gives complete family laws to Muslims and the Christian Marriage Act 1872 gives an outdated legitimate cover to the marriage unions of Christians. Be that as it may, the Hindus in Pakistan have lived with no legal umbrella of family laws for as long as six decades until Sindh Assembly broke the ice by passing this law.
Sindh Assembly has made a milestone leap by passing the Hindu Marriage Bill 2016.Millions of Hindu living in State of Sindh now can prove their marital unions.

This bill is a sign of relief for Hindus of State of Sindh as without such laws they were not able to prove their marital unions consequently were confronting physical attack, assault and forcible marriage on the hands of Fuedal masters. Sindh is well known as the place that is known for Feudal or Wadera's. The Hindu minority has been a victim of intense human rights infringement since 1970.
In spite of the fact that the circumstance has changed for Hindus in  Sindh yet at the same time for 2 million Hindus of other states, there is no authoritative document to prove their marital unions which bringing about many issues when trying to acquire CNIC, Passports, inheritance or dissolution of marriage.
A Hindu Marriage Bill was presented in the National Gathering by Dr Vankwani and another PML-N MNA Dr Darshan in 2014, yet there is no advancement.
So if I say that 'regardless of the fact that justice Rana Bhagwandas is requested to prove his marriage and the legitimacy of his six kids in court, even he can't.'
Currently the issue is, if this lacuna is there since making of Pakistan, then how exactly the Hindu community is securing their marriage unions from that point forward??
Interestingly without codified laws, the Special Marriage Act 1872 is helping the Hindu community, which gives sketchy guidelines to registration of marital unions of all minority religions. Individuals from the Hindu group have three alternatives to have their marital unions recognized;
  1. Thelocal Panchayat,
  2. ThePakistan Hindu Council and,
  3. Thelocal union council.
Numerous Hindus, from Bheel and Meghwar groups, get signed an affidavit before an oath commissioner to prove their marital unions.
The National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) additionally started registration of marital unions. Registration with the Panchayat and Pakistan Hindu Board are simple, yet with regards to NADRA and the union council, the procedure is a genuinely hard test. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court had asked NADRA to register the marital unions of the Hindu group and encouraged the issuance of CNIC, yet the certification itself is brimming with many issues, like the terms used are nikah rather ofshadow, nikahkhwan rather than Maharaj or pandit and there are other such mistakes.
Registration with Pandits and Panchayats don't have any lawful grounds to prove the marriage. The issue has been further aggravated with the devolution of religious and minority issues to the provinces. The provinces now will need to independently order individual laws for minority groups to give legal cover to marital unions and separations. After the eighteenth Amendment, the issues of religious minorities and their family matters have become provincial subjects, however the Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies have passed authority to federation, to enact Hindu marriage law.A similar resolution is pending in the Punjab Assembly.
The main highlights of Sindh Hindu Marriage Bill 2016 are;
  1. The bride and groom cannot be less than 18 years, according to the text of the approved draft.
  2. Married couples will be required to obtain a marriage registration certificate, while a couple can also face fines in case their marriage is not registered. The law can be applied retroactively to existing marriages.
  3. Zoroastrians and Sikhs will also be able to register their marriages under the new law.
Many are seeing the passage of the bill by Sindh Assembly as a ray of hope.I hope this bill may soon get adopted nationwide. But sadly the Bill is still pending for consideration in the National Assembly, Islamabad.
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About Zarmina Siraj Ul Haq

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