Hindu widows can remarry now, bill passed in Pak’s assembly

Karachi: Pakistan’s Sindh province’s assembly passed a landmark bill allowing Hindu widows to remarry. The bill was initially moved by Nand Kumar Goklani of the functional Pakistan Muslim League in the assembly. The bill allows Hindu widows to remarry out of their own free will but only after a period of six months has lapsed after their husband’s death. The bill also grants Hindu women the right to file a petition for dissolution of a marriage if they want to terminate their marriage.

According to a Hindustan Times report, the Sindh Hindu Marriage Amendment Bill, 2018, which was passed on Friday, allows women in strained marriages to file for separation. The bill also states that, in case of separation, the man will have to provide for the children. Prior to the passage of the bill, divorced or widowed Hindu women in Sindh were not legally allowed to marry a second time.

The amended bill has also prohibited bigamy, stating that a person cannot get married the second time while their first spouse still lives with them. Clause 18 of the bill says: “Any marriage solemnised after the commencement of this act is void if at the date of such marriage either party had a spouse living.”

Sindh Law Minister Ziaul Hasan Lanjar said the bill had been passed unanimously.

Majority of the Hindu population in Pakistan reside in the Sindh province, including urban areas like Hyderabad, Sukkur and Karachi.

Siasat Web Team