Pakistan plans to empower married Hindu women

All Hindu marriages will be registered in accordance with the provisions of this act. (Representative image, Wikimedia Commons) Photograph:( Others )

PTI Islamabad, Pakistan Sep 18, 2016, 02.49 PM (IST)
Pakistan government may table the highly-debated Hindu Marriage Bill at the next session of Parliament later this month, media reports said today.

The legislation seeks to give a proper framework to marriages in the minority community and is expected to address impending issues of the community, including registration of marriages, divorce and forced conversions, Human Rights Minister Kamran Michael told the media.

According to the Express Tribune, Michael is likely to table the bill at the next session of Parliament. 

He earlier made an attempt to move the bill on September 9, but the discussion was postponed to the next session because of absence of a few minority lawmakers.

Many Hindu community members, mainly women, lack basic documentation to prove their marital status. They also don't have key legal rights,like, inheritance, remarriage, separation, adoption of children and annulment of marriage.

The bill is expected to put an end to the practice of abduction of married Hindu women.

Hindu widows will have the right to remarry of their own free will six months after the death of her husband, according to the provisions of the bill.

The National Assembly's standing committee on law and justice tabled its report on the bill on August 17 which was impending since March last year. 

The draft law was first moved by minority lawmakers  Ramesh Lal of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Asiya Nasir of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) JUI-F.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) party, headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, had also supported the draft bill.

(WION with inputs from PTI)