Islamabad, Pakistan: In Pakistan, girls from the minority religion are forced to change the religion and married. Numerous complaints have been filed where underage Hindu and Christian girls are converted into Islam and are married forcefully.
Religious minorities are hard-pressed against multiple odds, with an already uphill life in terms of economic opportunities in society. Although Islamabad has international obligations to fulfil, these are rarely met in a satisfactory way, Pakistan’s The News reported.
The country’s ministry of human rights has prepared a draft of a bill in an attempt to prevent forced conversions in the country.
The ministry of religious affairs called a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the new bill. However, the ministry didn’t invite any member of the minority community, the primary stakeholders and victims of the forced conversions.
In Sindh, there have been numerous complaints of underage Hindu girls being made to marry and forcibly converted. The same is true of Christians and other minority groups across the country.
During the meet, members opposed the draft’s proposal to the conversion should be only after 18 years.
There have been various instant conversions in Pakistan that raise questions, doubts and anger in communities. Conversion should be considered over some weeks or months, The News said.
But still not inviting members of minority communities to discuss the proposed bill was really saddening as they are most adversely affected by forced conversions.
Further, The News reported that the proposed bill should be discussed with all stakeholders that would have implications. And not inviting them to the meet clearly indicates Pakistan’s stand on minorities.