Pakistan has handed a invoice which formally recognises Hindu marriages in legislation for the primary time.
The invoice enshrines the situations for a legitimate marriage, and offers for official documentation that can be utilized to confirm marital standing.
The Muslim-majority nation has about three.eight million Hindus, or some 2% of the inhabitants.
The invoice, which applies solely to sure areas, has now been despatched to the president to be signed into legislation.
As a part of the formal regulation, the act units the situations for a legitimate Hindu marriage throughout the nation.
They embody legitimate consent, each members being over the age of 18 and a ban on polygamy.
Nonetheless, the ban on a number of wives won’t apply “the place a residing feminine partner can’t conceive a baby and [is] medically declared to be so”.
The invoice additionally particulars the circumstances for separation or divorce, and offers formal authorized validity to all present Hindu marriages.
The legislation will solely apply in three provinces – Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – in addition to the capital territory round Islamabad. Native authorities in these areas have already handed resolutions to just accept the laws.
Sindh province – which has a very excessive focus of Hindus – has introduced its own regulations.
The brand new nationwide invoice retains a controversial clause from the Sindh regulation, which permits termination of the wedding if both particular person converts to a different faith.
The invoice was handed after a prolonged debate. It was first accepted by the nation’s nationwide meeting final yr however later amended by the senate. The modified invoice was then despatched again to the meeting for re-approval.
It’s anticipated to obtain presidential assent and turn out to be legislation throughout the week.
Pakistani Hindus have lengthy complained of discrimination and spiritual persecution, and lots of have fled across the border to India to escape it.
Since 2011, greater than a thousand Pakistanis have been granted Indian citizenship, the vast majority of whom are Hindus.