By A Special Correspondent
Two minor Hindu girls were abducted at gunpoint, allegedly by “influential persons”, from their home in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Later a video, that went viral, surfaced showing the girls being married off and saying that they had converted to Islam out of their free will. Sushma Swaraj, the Indian external affairs minister, has sought details of the incident from the Pakistani envoy to India.
The Hindu minority in Pakistan has staged demonstrations against the abduction and forced conversion of the two girls. It has reminded Pakistan PM Imran Khan of his pledge to protect the minorities. Imran Khan has asked the provincial government to order an inquiry and recover the girls and ensure that such incidents do not happen again. Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has asked the governments of Punjab and Sindh to initiate a joint action programme to prevent such incidents. He also said that the white in the Pakistani flag represents the minorities and the nation is proud of all colours of its national flag.
But the Sind province in Pakistan is the hotbed of repression against minorities. Minor Hindu girls are often abducted, converted to Islam and illegally married to grooms much elder than them. The police often do not register FIRs and seldom arrest the culprits or recover the girls.In the present case, it is claimed that the Hindus had to stage several sit-ins in Ghotki district before the police reluctantly registered the FIR.
Hindus are the largest minority in Pakistan. More than 75 lakh Hindus live there. They have been facing persecution and forced conversions. Nand Kumar Goklani, an MP belonging to the Muslim League-Functional, had moved a bill against forced conversions. After this incident, he urged the government to get the bill passed immediately to stop such incidents.
Pakistan must ensure that the Hindu minorities are not targeted by influential people. As it is, Pakistan, being a Muslim majority nation, has several laws that discriminate against its minorities. If minorities are also targeted by influential criminals, it will become impossible for them to live a dignified life in the country.
image courtesy: Asian Tribune