Lahore: Christians steamed up as Lahore Cantonment Board refuses to register Christian marriages

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Christians and Ahmadis express serious concerns as Walton Cantonment Board and the Lahore Cantonment Board refuse to register marriages of Christians and Ahmadis, on the pretext that marriages formalized under Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 are apt for registration. Rights activists term the refusal a blatant discrimination against Christians and Ahamadis.

Lahore Board marriages of Christians

Christians and Ahmadi communities are looking to make arrangements of their marriages on their own. Peter Jacob, Director of Center for Social Justice said “They are denied the right to get their marriages registered. On March 12, 2015, a deputy attorney general had undertaken before the Supreme Court that the government would ensure registration of marriages of all couples from minority communities. However, nothing has been done in this regard so far.”

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Peter Jacob referred to an instance when a Christian man approached the Walton Cantonment Board to get his marriage registered and was informed by the board that the registration service in not extended to Christians.

A spokesperson of Jamaat Ahmadiyaa said, “After some effort, we were able to convince NADRA to acknowledge our marriages. Nevertheless, our people still face problems when they are asked to prove their marital relationship to embassies and consulates while applying for visas.”

Walton Cantonment Board’s prosecutor superintendent Rana Sajjad told Express Tribune, “We register marriages under Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961.” He said that the board has not received any directions in this regard.