ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Hindus are struggling to register their marriages due to chronic delays in the passage of the draft bill for the Hindu Marriage Act that was proposed in 2008, according to a media report today.
The draft bill, which is yet to be tabled in parliament, seeks to address the decades-old problem faced by Pakistan's largest minority community that numbers about four million.
There is no system in Pakistan for registering the marriages of certain minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs and Baha'is, 'The Express Tribune' daily reported.
Pakistani Hindus often face difficulties when travelling abroad due to the lack of a marriage certificate, said the parliamentarian, Mr Araish Kumar.
"These are not the best of times for us as we face stiff resistance from the government on the issue," he said.
Moreover, Hindus will get computerised National Identity Cards if the bill is passed, he said.
However, the government and some Hindus do not see eye-to-eye over a controversial divorce clause in the draft bill, the report said. "How can we allow the inclusion of a divorce clause as there is no concept of divorce in our religion?" Mr Kumar said.
Clause 13 of the proposed 16-page bill, which covers divorce, states that any Hindu can divorce his or her spouse at any time and in any court.
Various conditions have been proposed for divorce proceedings. The draft empowers any court to entertain any petition for the legal dissolution of a marriage.
Various other rules have been included in the bill, such as when divorcees may marry again, the legal rights of children, void and voidable marriages, and the punishment for bigamy and other contraventions of Hindu marriage laws.