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Pakistani Province Passes Landmark Hindu Marriage Bill

Pakistan's southern province of Sindh has become the first region in the largely Muslim country to give Hindus the right to register their marriages officially.

Lawmakers in Sindh, home to many of Pakistan's 3 million-strong Hindu community, passed the bill on February 15.

Activists say that without a legal framework to register their unions, Hindu women are easy targets for forced conversions, abduction, and rape, and there is a lack of rights for widows.

Under the new legislation, Hindus above the age of 18 in Sindh can register their unions. It can be applied retroactively to existing marriages.

However, the law contains a controversial clause that allows the marriage to be annulled if any spouse converts.

The country's national assembly is considering a similar legislation.

Christians, Pakistan’s other main religious minority, have a colonial-era law regulating their marriages.

Based on reporting by AFP and the BBC