Pakistan approves draft law on Hindu marriages

Islamabad, Feb 9 (IANS) Pakistan’s National Assembly (NA) committee has approved a draft law on Hindu marriages, paving the way for registering marriages in the minuscule religious minority of the country, the media reported on Tuesday.

Five Hindu MNAs were on Monday specially invited to the deliberations of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice on the Hindu Marriage Bill 2015, Dawn online reported.

Though delaying tactics continued almost to the last, the committee adopted the bill unanimously 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, instead of just the federal territory.

Committee chairman Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk regretted the long-drawn tactical delay in framing family law for the Hindu community.

“It was unbecoming of us Muslims in general and the political leaders in particular. We were required to facilitate the legislation, not obstruct it,” he said.

After the 18th Amendment, the issues of religious minorities and their family matters became provincial subjects but the Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies passed resolutions allowing the federation to legislate Hindu marriage law.

A similar resolution is pending in the Punjab Assembly while not much has been done in this regard by Sindh Assembly.

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