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Karachi

June 19, 2017

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Hindus seek top court’s help to stop forced conversions

Hindus seek top court’s help to stop forced conversions

A representative body of the country’s Hindus has appealed to the Supreme Court to take suo moto action against the increasing kidnappings and forced conversions and marriages of the community’s underage girls across Sindh.

The Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) convened an emergency meeting on Sunday to review the prevailing situation in the context of the recent abduction of a Hindu minor named Ravita Meghwar from District Tharparkar.

A statement released by the body said the meeting was attended by PHC Patron-in-chief and Member National Assembly (MNA) Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Hotchand Kirmani, Paman Lal Rathi, Dr Deepak Kumar, Raja Asar Mal and others.

The council’s meeting was told that the situation in the locality from where Ravita was kidnapped was still quite tense and that the victim’s family was reportedly forced to leave their home.

Demanding the early rescue of the abducted girl, Dr Vankwani said that such incidents would be termed “social crimes” in any civilised society, but hatemongers in the province thought of them as “good deeds under the guise of religion”.

He said that Islam was a religion of peace and that the PHC had never opposed embracing the religion as a result of free will.

However, he added, the situation was entirely different in Sindh, where the focus was only on converting abducted Hindu girls with the sole purpose of marrying them off without their consent.

Vankwani said majority of the Pakistanis were peace-loving and believed in respecting others, but a few people were damaging the reputation of the country in the eyes of the global community.

Criticising the Sindh government, he said that returning the unanimously passed bill for the protection of minorities was proof that the provincial administration was being held hostage by religious pressure groups.

The MNA said the rise in such incidents not only demonstrated the failure of the Sindh government as regards providing security to the non-Muslim community, but was also adversely affecting the socio-psychological conditions of the minorities.

He added that 5,000 Pakistani Hindus were being forced to migrate every year, while the remaining members of the community who were underprivileged had no other option but to keep their heads down.

The meeting expressed concern that due to the kidnappers wielding their influence, the local police were not allowed to do anything to rescue the abducted girls and that the kidnappers presented the victims in court after 15 days with a certificate of their conversion to justify their crime.

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