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Legal vaccum for Pakistani Hindus regarding marriage laws

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Islamabad: There is no marriage law for Hindus living in Pakistan, a leading daily said on Friday, noting that this “legal vacuum naturally creates a multitude of issues for Pakistani Hindus, especially the women”.

An editorial “Hindu marriage bill” in Dawn on Friday said that while many politicians are quick to issue public statements about the rights of minorities in Pakistan, when it comes to taking practical steps to secure these rights, there is very little to show.

“A prime example of this strange paradox is the decades-old issue of legislation related to Hindu marriage.

“At the current time, there is no marriage law for the millions of Hindus living in Pakistan. This legal vacuum naturally creates a multitude of issues for Pakistani Hindus, especially the women of the community,” said the daily.

It is said that Hindu women have to face problems in proving their relationships when dealing with official dom, while widows are particularly disadvantaged.

“Without official proof of relationships, getting government documents issued or moving forward on any other activity which involves documentation from opening bank accounts to applying for visas becomes next to impossible for any citizen.”

The daily wondered how the Hindu community is supposed to cope?

Forced conversions are also facilitated by the lack of documentation of Hindu marriages,some experts point out.

Despite the fact that many of these points were raised at a seminar in Islamabad on Wednesday by the chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice which is supposed to approve the Hindu marriage bill to be tabled in the house he was unable to convince the committee to give the green signal at a meeting on the same day.

The editorial went on to say that while family law is now a provincial subject, the federating units can ask the centre, through resolutions passed by their respective assemblies, to legislate on the matter.

“This tardiness and lack of political will are inexcusable. If the parties leading the Sindh and Punjab governments are serious about their commitment to minority rights, they should pass the resolutions without further delay in order to do away with the hurdles in the way of a Hindu marriage law.

“Sindh should show particular alacrity, as most of Pakistan’s Hindus reside in this province. Failure to take timely action and pass the law will only compound this decades-old injustice and expose our leaders’ claims of respecting minority rights as hollow,” it added.(IANS)(image: hinduexistence.org)

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Mother Convicted of Forcing Daughter to Marry

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

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A union flag is flown at half mast in Westminster after an attack on London Bridge and Borough Market left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday convicted the mother of four of duping her then 17-year-old daughter into travelling to Pakistan on the pretext of a family holiday in 2016 and forcing her to marry there, the BBC reported.

The mother was found guilty of two counts of forced marriage and was scheduled to be sentenced.

The court heard the girl had been entered into a “marriage contract” with the man years before in Pakistan and became pregnant at 13. The victim had an abortion on returning to the UK, with her doctor reporting his concerns to social services.

representational image. pixabay

Prosecutors said the girl’s mother told them that her daughter and the man were just “two teenagers who had sneakily had sex” after she was referred, the BBC said.

The girl was tricked into travelling to Pakistan again in September 2016 and was forced by her mother to sign marriage papers.

When the daughter protested against the marriage, her mother threatened to burn her passport and assaulted her.

The mother was also convicted of perjury after she lied about the incident in the High Court.

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It is the first time a forced marriage case of this kind has been successfully prosecuted in an English court. Prosecutions for forced marriage, which became an offense in 2014, are rare. (IANS)

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