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May 8, 2012

Sindhis, Baloch rally outside 10 Downing Street


May 8, 2012

LONDON: Members of the Sindhi, Hindu and Baloch rights organisations held a demonstration in front of 10 Downing Street, the residence of British Prime Minister David Cameron, protesting the alleged kidnapping and forced marriages of Hindu girls in Sindh and against the Lyari operation.
Members of the World Sindhi Congress and International Sindhi Women Organisation (ISWO) were joined by Baloch and Hindu groups.In a petition submitted to the office of the British prime minister, the demonstrators urged the British Government to intervene in the matter as the Pakistani government was showing “apathy” on the issue.
The petition pointed out that the Hindus constituted 15 per cent of the total population in Pakistan at the time of the partition in 1947 but it has now dwindled to less than 2 per cent.The petition claimed that in the recent past there were as many as 25 cases of Hindu girls being kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslims youths in Pakistan.
The speakers requested the international community to put pressure on Pakistan to guarantee the protection and safety of Sindhi Hindu girls in Pakistan as, they alleged, young Sindhi Hindu girls are being kidnapped, subjected to forced marriages with Muslim boys, and converted to Islam. They mentioned the case of Sindhi Hindu girls Rinkal, Lata and Aisha Kumari and called on the Pakistani government to take notice of their plights.
The Baloch on this occasion protested against the on-going operation in Lyari and urged the Pakistani security forces to stop the operation. The protesters were carrying placards inscribed with slogan “Sham on Pakistan government for killing innocent civilians in Lyari, The perpetrators of crimes against Baloch should be tried in International Courts, Sham on killer Sindh government, UN!”
The speakers termed Lyari operation as the continuation of military operations against Baloch people. They said the Baloch “genocide” has been extended

from Balochistan to Karachi now.
The Baloch speakers also strongly condemned the killing of ICRC staff Dr Khalil Dale in Quetta and said that Baloch have long been saying that Taliban Shura exists in Quetta.The rally was addressed by Peter Thatchell, Michael Maseey from United Christian Forum, Ruby Akhtar of Sindh Christian NGO, Ravi Ladva, Barrister Sassui Abbas Laghari, Veena Bedi of Hindu Cultural Society, Hidayat Bhutto Chairman WSC, Noordin Mengal Balochistan National Party, Lakhu Luhana Secretary General of WSC, Dr Rubina Shaikh, Samad Baloch, Abdullah Baloch, Sohaib Mengal, Omer Raees, and Akbar Barakzai.

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