Pakistan

Now, Sikhs below 18 yrs cannot get married in Pakistan: Minister

Lahore: In a significant development, Ramesh Singh Arora, the first Sikh minister in Pakistan’s Punjab province, announced proposed amendments to the provincial Sikh Act during a meeting of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC). The amendments aim to benefit the Sikh minority community in the region.
As the president of PSGPC, Minister Arora highlighted that the amendments, including a provision that Sikhs below 18 years of age would be ineligible to marry, are set to be incorporated into the Sikh Anand Karaj Marriage Act 2018. These changes are expected to be officially approved by the cabinet in the near future.
The meeting, attended by head granthis from various key locations, discussed several recommendations for amendments to the Sikh Act. Under the proposed changes, marriages will be conducted in accordance with the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib, with couples required to submit an anand karaj form to the authorized registrar within 30 days of the ceremony. Records of all marriages will be maintained by the offices of the anand karj registrar or union council.
Furthermore, the meeting addressed issues related to reconciliation councils, marriage registrars, and the appointment of registrars. It was decided that the union council chairman should be elected from the bride’s council, emphasizing that the minimum age for Sikh individuals entering into marriage should be 18 years.
In cases of marital disputes, a conciliation committee will be formed by the union council chairman within 30 days of receiving a divorce notice. If reconciliation efforts fail after 90 days, a certificate will be issued. Minister Arora emphasized that the amendments aim to address legal challenges faced by Sikhs in Pakistan, particularly concerning the registration of marriages and the distribution of inherited assets.
Once implemented, the revised Sikh Act will enable Sikh couples to legally register their marriages, providing them with greater clarity and protection under the law.

Nasir Abbas

Nasir Abbas, having vast experience of journalism, working as editor with SAW

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