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After 16-month Struggle, Hindu Marriage Bill gets tabled in Pakistan’s National Assembly

The bill was approved by the standing committee on February 8 and has received support from the Hindu community and liberals

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Hindu Marriage. Image source: Wikimedia
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Islamabad, August 18, 2016: After the 16-month struggle, the much-debated Hindu Marriage Bill has been tabled in Pakistan’s National Assembly. Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Ramesh Lal, one of the bill’s movers, said on Wednesday that it took around 10 months for a house panel to clear the bill and another six months for its report to be tabled in the house.

“The delay was possibly because of extraordinary debates and discussion around the bill, but at least now the government should consider tabling it in the house in the next session,” Dawn online quoted Lal as saying.

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The bill was approved by the standing committee on February 8 and has received support from the Hindu community and liberals.

Map of Balochistan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Map of Balochistan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

However, some of the more religious members of the Hindu community have expressed strong reservations regarding the bill’s contents including allowing separated individuals to remarry, and also states that a Hindu widow is entitled to remarry and shall have the right to do so, of her own will and consent, after a period of six months since the death of her husband.

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It is expected that the cases of abduction of married Hindu women will stop once this bill is enacted, Dawn online reported.
The law would give the Hindu community proof of marriage in the form of a ‘shadiparat’, which is similar to a Muslim ‘nikahnama’.

Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have consented to the federal government formulating a Hindu marriage law that they would then adopt, while Sindh had formulated its own Hindu marriage registration law.

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India will Send a Manned Flight into Space by 2020: Modi

He said India will become a growth engine for the world economy as the "sleeping elephant'' has started to run on the back of structural economic reforms.

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A high rise building is illuminated in the colors of the Indian tricolor flag on the eve of Independence Day in Kolkata, India
A high rise building is illuminated in the colors of the Indian tricolor flag on the eve of Independence Day in Kolkata, India. VOA

India will send a manned flight into space by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Wednesday as part of India’s independence day celebrations.

He said India will become the fourth country after Russia, the United States and China to achieve the feat and its astronaut could be a man or a woman. The space capsule that will transport India’s astronauts was tested a few days earlier.

Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to travel in space, aboard a Soviet rocket in 1984. As part of its own space program, India successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars in 2014.

India won independence from British colonialists in 1947. Modi’s 80-minute speech, broadcast live from the historic Red Fort in New Delhi, comes months before national elections.

Modi listed his government’s achievements in the past four years in reforming the country’s economy, reducing poverty and corruption. He announced a health insurance scheme for 500 million poor people providing a cover of 500,000 rupees ($7,150) per family a year.

A woman sells Indian national flag memorabilia on the eve of Independence Day in Lucknow, India
A woman sells Indian national flag memorabilia on the eve of Independence Day in Lucknow, India. VOA

He said India will become a growth engine for the world economy as the “sleeping elephant” has started to run on the back of structural economic reforms.

He said its economy was seen as fragile before 2014 but was now attracting investment. India is the sixth largest economy in the world and Modi said international institutions see India as giving strength to the world economy for the next three decades.

Also Read: Amazon’s Alexa Can Now Learn Hindi and Other Indian Languages

He said the structural reforms like a national tax replacing various national and local taxes, bankruptcy and insolvency laws, and a crackdown on corruption have helped transform the economy. (VOA)