Hindus living in Pakistan, who so far had no official proof of marriage, are set to get a law that will recognise Hindu marriages.
A parliamentary panel in Pakistan unanimously cleared the Hindu Marriage Bill on Monday, paving the way to institutionalise Hindu marriages in the Muslim-dominated country. The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice cleared the final draft of the Hindu Marriage Bill 2015 in the presence of Hindu lawmakers, The Express Tribune reported.
The committee also reportedly scrapped a clause related to termination of marriages.
The Hindu Marriage Bill will now be moved to Pakistan's National Assembly, where it is expected to get the backing of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), according to Press Trust of India.
Hindus in Pakistan have been living without documentation of their marital status ever since Independence, which activists said affects particularly Hindu women as they are deprived of legal rights such as inheritance, adoption of children or remarriage.
While issues of religious minorities fall under provincial governments, Hindu marriage resolutions have been passed only by the provincial legislatures of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkkwa. The National Assembly panel said on Monday the act would be applicable across Pakistan.
While a private member bill titled Hindu Marriage Act 2014 was moved in 2014, a government bill for Hindu marriages had been tabled by Law Minister Pervaiz Rashid in March 2015, according to Dawn.
It was the Hindu Marriage Bill 2015 that was passed by the parliamentary committee on Monday.