In a development that is bound to bring cheer among the minority Hindu community in Pakistan, the government has approved the Hindu marriage bill. The Hindu Marriage Bill 2017, which aims to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in Pakistan, has been approved unanimously by the Senate. Earlier, in 2015, it was approved by the lower house or the National Assembly. Now, only the president’s signature is required, post which, the bill will become a law. It’s unlikely that there would be any obstacles since getting the president’s signature is just a formality.
The bill will cover areas such as marriage, registration of marriage, divorce, separation, remarriage, etc. As per the bill, the minimum age for marriage has been defined as 18 years, for both boys and girls. The bill will be very useful for the minority Hindu community in Pakistan, as it will provide them legal representation and protection. The bill will apply to Pakistani Hindus living in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. It will not be applicable in Sindh province since the Sindh province already has its own Hindu Marriage Law.
The bill was introduced in the house by Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a top Hindu lawmaker from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League—Nawaz. Vankwani had put in more than 3 years towards efforts to get a Hindu marriage law sanctioned in the country.