Pakistani Hindu families demand bill on marriage registration

Islamabad, Jan 2(ANI): Families of the Scheduled Caste Hindus in Pakistan have demanded of the government that the Hindu Marriage Registration Bill should be passed by Parliament as early as possible.

Women belonging to Scheduled Caste Hindus from Sindh and Southern Punjab converged in front of the National Press Club on Saturday, and held a protest demonstration demanding proper legislation for their marriage registration, The Nation reported.

Holding the demonstration under the banner of Scheduled Caste Rights Movement (SCRM), they said that all forms of discrimination against the Hindu community should be abolished through proper legislation.

The women protestors also criticised the Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, for not paying heed to the longstanding demands of the Hindu community despite assurances.

They said Bhatti had assured the National Assembly in February 2010 that the government would pass the Hindu Marriage Registration Bill within three months, but no progress was made despite a passage of over ten months now.

The women protestors also shared their various personal experiences, problems and miseries owing to not having any proof of their marriages.

They said other minorities like Christians living in Pakistan had their respective bylaws and procedures to register their marriages, but 4.5 million Pakistani Hindus, the biggest minority in Pakistan with reference to population, had been deprived of their basic right of marriage registration.

Non-registration of marriages of the Hindu community in Pakistan has resulted in many problems, as Hindu couples are deprived of all facilities that a Pakistani couple can avail after marriage.

Hindu couples cannot even get their Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC), as they do not have any proof of their marriages. (ANI)

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