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Weddings across Chitral’s Kalash valley will soon be documented

Govt says bill will be tabled in January 2021

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 2, 2020 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 2, 2020 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Weddings across Chitral’s Kalash valley will soon be documented

Photo: AFP

The Khyber Pakthunkhwa government is set to table the Kalash Marriage Act that will ensure marriages and divorces across the valley are documented.

Couples in Pakistan’s most toured valley are declared married as they exchange vows, without any documentation. This deprives women of security as their claims regarding a marriage or separation are hollow without documentation to prove it.

The government has not given an exact date when the bill will be tabled for a vote, but the KP assembly is expected to debate it by January 2021. And the valley has welcomed the move.

Hazrat Gul, a Kalash tribeswoman, explained that men and women announce their elopement before the community after which families kick-off traditional celebrations.

While the Kalasha used to believe in miyan bivi raazi to kya karega qazi, as Gul put it, this method disadvantages women in the long run.

Speaking on SAMAA TV’s morning show Naya Din on Monday, Gul said that all conditions post-wedding are held in the presence of elders of the tribe, but is all verbal.

“None of the marriages are registered or documented,” she said. “It’s all about equality. Just like in a Muslim community… where women get their equal share [Haq Meher] after divorce. If the bill is passed, it will serve as a family law that will secure our women.”

The 4,000 Kalash people form the smallest minority ethnic group of Pakistan. They are known for their unique traditions and style of living.

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