Hindu widows, divorcees to be allowed to remarry, proposes law in Pakistan

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KARACHI: For the first time, a law has been proposed in theSindhAssembly giving rights to Hindu widows to re-marry of their own will. Presently, a Hindu woman spends her entire life alone after the death of her husband.

“We want to get rid of old and outdated customs, which is why we are going to amend the law and give rights to widows to remarry after six months of ‘iddah’,” Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) parliamentary leader Nand Kumar said. He moved an amendment on Thursday to the Sindh Hindu Marriage Act.

The Hindu community in Sindh heaved a sigh of relief in April, 2016 when the assembly passed the Hindu Marriage Bill. Earlier, there was no mechanism for the Hindu community to register their marriages. Now, women can remarry after obtaining divorces as well. “When the marriage has been annulled or terminated by a decree of nullity or degree of termination as the case may be, it shall be lawful for either party to marry again after the lapse of six months from the final decision,” the amendment to the law read.

We want to get rid of old and outdated customs, which is why we are going to amend the law and give rights to widows to remarry after six months of ‘iddah’,” Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) parliamentary leader Nand Kumar said. He moved an amendment on Thursday to the Sindh Hindu Marriage Act.

The Hindu community in Sindh heaved a sigh of relief in April, 2016 when the assembly passed the Hindu Marriage Bill. Earlier, there was no mechanism for the Hindu community to register their marriages. Now, women can remarry after obtaining divorces as well. “When the marriage has been annulled or terminated by a decree of nullity or degree of termination as the case may be, it shall be lawful for either party to marry again after the lapse of six months from the final decision,” the amendment to the law read.

According to the bill, the father will bear the financial expenses of the children in case of a divorce. “This law will be applicable not only for Hindus, but will cover followers of Sikhism as well,” the law said, adding that during the past few years matrimonial issues have been mounting in the Hindu community and large numbers of people are exploited due to non-availability of the law, resulting in decisions made via panchayats and jirgas, without considering the rights of women, children and their livelihood.

“In our society we don’t allow women to go outside at least for a year after the death of their husbands. No one even can think of remarriage. This is totally wrong. Now we want to get rid of this old custom,” Kumar said, adding that different punishments have been suggested in case of violation of the law.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The time has come to cultivate healthy changes for all humans.

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