Senate body unanimously passes ‘The Hindu Marriage Bill, 2016’


Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights unanimously passed the much-awaited Hindu Marriage Bill 2016, in a landmark move aimed at easing growing insecurity among the country’s Hindu community.

The committee met in Islamabad on Monday with Senator Nasreen Jalil in the chair. Senator Sitara Ayaz, Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Mufti Abdul Sattar, Nisar Muhammad, Aitzaz Ahsan, Farhatullah Baber, Dr Ashok Kumar, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Dr Darshan were also present at the meeting.

The bill will enable the Hindu community to get their marriages registered and separation cases could be resolved in the courts.

“There is no contradiction regarding the bill; this is right of minorities to live according to their religion,” Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said. “Shariat law is totally different from Hindu law and Islam gives freedom to non-Muslims,” he added.

Dr Vankwani said, “There was no Hindu marriage law in the country for 66 years. The country’s leadership and all the political parties have done a commendable job.”

The chairman expressed displeasure over not arresting all culprits of Ahmadi’s worship place attack incident in village Dulmial, district Chakwal.

IG Punjab gave the details of the ongoing investigation and told that a Canadian national, Abdul Rasheed, was also involved in this incident and that police were trying to arrest him, while some of the culprits have been arrested.

The committee also passed amendment bill regarding the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).

An official of Ministry of Human Rights briefed the committee regarding issues discussed at the last meeting that new jails were required in Karachi. “Construction of a hospital has been started in the premises of jails in which paramedic staff and doctors will be present all the time,” he added.

He said there was a need for legal aid to under-trial prisoners and a call office for them to talk to their legal experts.

The official told the committee that some 18 missing persons have been recovered, while rest would be found out soon.