The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has prepared the Kailash Marriage Bill, which is expected to be presented in the Provincial Assembly by December. The sole purpose of the bill is to grant legal representation and protection to the people of Kailash in all matters related to marriage. The law will be formulated with due consideration on customs and will take all marital affairs including dowry, divorce, and inheritance under its aegis.
Advisor to Chief Minister on Religious Affairs, Wazir Zada has stated that the Act has been welcomed and greatly anticipated by his community. “There are laws pertaining to Hindu marriages, Christian marriages, and Muslim marriages in Pakistan, so it is high time that marriages of the Kailash community are also recognized by the state,” he commented.
Kailash tribe, which is the religious minority with a reported census of 4,000 individuals, have unique and rich cultural traditions. The marriages there have been performed in accordance with the religious laws and traditions native to their country. Because of the absence of any legal or documentary status awarded by the state, the issues related to the marriage were mostly resolved through consultation with the tribal council, commonly known as Jirga.
These circumstances form the grounds for the formulation of the Kailash Marriage Act for the first time in the history of the country. For this purpose, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Religious Affairs and Pakistan Council of World Religions Chairperson Qari Rohullah Madani. Advocate Nabaig Kailash will be rendering his services to help legalize the Marriage Act.
According to Nabaig, the Act, after being submitted, will go through a certain process of approval from the Provincial Assembly. “Though I agree that making a marriage bill is no easy task and requires a lot of research and investigation into the culture. But the relevant authorities must try to expedite this process”, he said.
By formulating the Marriage Act is Kailash, the KP government is hitting the right notes because the absence of family law in Kailash has contributed to the difficulties of the people living there. The law will open the doors for the protection of rights of both men and women of the tribe by preserving the distinct cultural identity of its members.