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July 17, 2019

Sindh Assembly passes resolution against abduction of girls in province


July 17, 2019

A resolution of an opposition legislator against the recent surge in the instances of kidnappings of Hindu girls in various districts of Sindh was unanimously passed by the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday only after its mover agreed to amend the resolution by removing the word “Hindu” from it so that it was generalised and addressed the issue of kidnappings of girls in Sindh irrespective of their religion.

The resolution was tabled by Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) MPA Nand Kumar Goklani. Before the amendment, it stated: “This House resolves that provincial government takes notice of recent surge of kidnapping of Hindu girls from various districts of Sindh and take steps to arrest the culprits and give them exemplary punishment and stop forced conversion.”

In view of suggestions given by several lawmakers of both the opposition and treasury benches, including those belonging to the religious minorities, the mover agreed to amend the resolution to delete the word “Hindu” in it so to make its content more general in nature in order to cover the issue of abduction of any girl in the province.

Speaking on the resolution, Goklani urged the Sindh government to immediately take due measures to resolve the issue of Hindu girls’ abductions in the province.

The GDA lawmaker said the provincial government should introduce a stringent law in the province against forced conversions. He expressed his gratitude to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in the province as its chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in a recent public meeting in Gohtki had announced that he would voice concern over issues being faced by the minorities.

Goklani said people belonging to the religious minorities in Pakistan should get equal rights as those enjoyed by the rest of their countrymen in view of the teachings of the founder of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

He said the Sindh Assembly had duly passed a law to prevent child marriages and the same law should be applied in the cases of girls belonging to the minorities in the province. Parliamentary leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Haleem Adil Sheikh said all the political parties, irrespective of their mutual differences, fully supported the Hindu community for getting their issues resolved.

A female MPA of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Mangla Sharma, said the minorities living in Sindh would not leave their motherland as their love for Pakistan was unconditional.

Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal lawmaker Syed Abdul Rasheed said the rising instances of kidnappings had recently emerged as a national issue. He said the Constitution ensured safety, security, and freedom to people of all the religions and recognised them as citizens of the country just like the Muslim citizens.

Sindh Culture and Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah said he belonged to the town of Umerkot in Sindh where people of the Hindu community were in a majority. He added that the issue of abductions of girls needed to be solved as soon as possible.

Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said the people belonging to religions other than Islam should not call themselves minorities as they were non-Muslim citizens of the country. He maintained that the Sindh government would take every possible measure to prevent the instances of kidnappings of Hindu girls in Sindh.

Licence for teaching

The education minister informed the lawmakers during the question hour of the session that the Sindh government would introduce a proper licensing system for teachers associated with the government-run and private education institutions in the province. He said licences would be issued to the teachers who had the prescribed qualification and who would also pass an aptitude test for the purpose.

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