In what appears to be a New Year's gift for Hindus living in Pakistan, the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights unanimously approved the much-awaited Hindu Marriages Bill here on Monday.
Earlier in September, the National Assembly passed the Hindu Marriage Bill, 2016, paving the way for the adoption of a comprehensive and widely-acceptable family law for Hindus living in Pakistan.
The bill will enable the Hindu community members to get their marriages registered and to appeal in courts of law in cases of separation, Dawn reported.
There were penalties for violating the provisions of the bill, which allows Hindus to finally have a proof of marriage document called the shadiparat, similar to the nikahnama for the Muslims.
The bill also allows separated Hindu persons to remarry. The bill states that a Hindu widow "shall have the right to re-marry of her own will and consent after the death of her husband provided a period of six months has lapsed after the husband's death".
Minority member in the National Assembly Ramesh Kumar Vankwani called the move a New Year's gift for Hindus living in Pakistan.
"Today, we are proud to be Hindu Pakistanis after the approval of the bill. Hindus will now be able to get registered their marriages and also apply for divorce under family laws," he said.