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Sindh fails to pass Hindu marriage bill

By our correspondents
January 28, 2016

Minorities don’t get fair deal in province inhabited most by minorities

ISLAMABAD: The federal government will not further wait for the provinces to pass a resolution for allowing the Center to approve legislation on Hindu marriage bill and this proposed law will soon be passed by National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice.

Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice Ch Bashir Mahmood Virk, belonging to ruling party PML-N said this while addressing National Conference on Hindu Marriage Bill organised by Community World Service here on Wednesday.

In the conference hundreds of Hindu, Christian, Sikhs and Parsis belonging to different parts of the country gathered to muster their support for Hindu Marriage Bill.

In the wake of 18th Constitutional amendments, the minorities’ subject devolved and became provincial subject so the federal government could not make legislation until the provincial assemblies passed resolutions for allowing the Center to pass law on this subject.

It was told during the conference that only Balochistan and KP’s provincial assemblies passed resolutions while Sindh where Hindu lived in the range of 5 to 7 million in interior parts remained unable to get support of the PPP led provincial government. In Punjab, the resolution is at advance stage and will be tabled before the provincial assembly in coming sessions.

The Chairman NA Standing Committee said that this bill was delayed at federal level because they waited for provincial resolutions and now the federal government would pass this bill to make it effective in federal capital and federally administered areas only.

“Ideally there should be one civil marriage law but that is a far reality. I tell my Muslim fellows that love Hindus and Christians as they are the most loyal people. For me anyone who is loyal to Pakistan is respectable,” he added.

He said that his father had told him in the last moment of his life that he would get Bounty from Almighty Allah because he had served humanity irrespective of their religious beliefs so he advised him to do so. “My father saved many people belonging to minorities at time of riots in 1947 so he was acting upon advice of his late father,” he added.

Punjab parliamentarian belonging to PML-N Mary Gill reiterated, “There should be a unified marriage law for Hindus across Pakistan and the Punjab Assembly will pass a resolution in the upcoming session so that the federal law could be extended to the Punjab province.”

“Our leadership is very clear on passing of the Hindu Marriage no matter what the case. It is committed to the welfare and security of religious minorities and also to ensure that their personal laws are updated,” said Mary Gill.

Jai Parkash Moorani, President Hyderabad Press Club, expressed that with the passing of this law the minorities would also be recognized as equal citizens of Pakistan that the Constitution guarantees. He said the absence of personal laws for Hindus gave the impression that the community was not treated as equal citizens by the State. 

Krishan Sharma , the chairman of the Rights of Expression, Assembly, Association and Thought (REAT) Network further added, “The Hindu community has suffered because of the absence of personal laws in several ways; if a married Hindu woman is abducted and forcibly married then her family has no means to prove her marriage.”

M. Parkash Mahtani, an advocate of human rights, said that Sindh assembly must pass a resolution in this direction so that the federal law could be extended to the Sindh province as well.