The Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights of the Pakistan National Assembly has decided to finalise and approve a comprehensive draft regarding the Hindu Marriage Bill 2014 in its next meeting to stop forced marriages of Hindu girls with Muslim men.
According to the draft, girls belonging to the Hindu minority will not be allowed to marry below the age of 18.
The Dawn reports that the committee meeting was chaired by Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk and was attended by its members and officials of the concerned Ministry of Law and Justice.
Pakistan's Law Secretary informed committee members that the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights has had across the board consultations with the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, and other relevant federal ministries, divisions and National Commission on the Status of Women, before finalising the draft for the Hindu Marriage Bill 2014.
He described the draft as being more comprehensive and within constitutional limits, and added that the bill is in accordance with the wishes of the Hindu community.
Virk said the committee should invite Dr. Ramesh Kumar to finalise a more comprehensive draft of the bill.
The draft bill recommends that National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) should issue computerised marriage registration certificates to Hindu couples. The minimum requirement to get the certificate will be to submit copies of the CNICs of the groom, bride, and their parents.
It will also be important for Hindu couples to submit a copy of the marriage certificate issued by a pandit or Hindu Council along with a copy of the pandit's CNIC who solemnised the marriage.