Hong Kong started this petition to Mr. Imran Khan (Prime Minister of Pakistan)
and 4 others
forced conversion are not a new phenomenon in the country the recent spike in
cases of forced conversions and marriage of underage non Muslim girls is a
worrisome trend. The IHRC is concerened about the recent spate of these
abductions where underage girls are kidnapped and later married to their
has received information regarding two minor teenage girls from Sindh province.
The girls, one Hindu and one Christian were forcibly abducted by Muslim y men
and were disappeared after that. Amrot Sharif Madressa is stated to be behind
the conversion. The Madressa has the notoriety of abetting the abduction of
young girls from religious minority community. Once converted these girls are
not allowed to meet or have any contact with their parents.
As per the
information received through local media the victim, Huma Younus went missing
from her home on 10 October 2019 from her home in Zia colony, an improvised
neighborhood in Karachi. She was taken to Dera Ghazi khan 600 km from her home
and was converted and married the same day.
The conversion papers presented to the parents
were rejected by them as phony, they demanded to meet their daughter in person
to know her side. However to date teh parents have not been allowed to see
their daughter. Younus Masih, The father of Huma has filed an appeal in the
Court, the case however, has stalled after the certificate of conversion and
marriage certificate was presented in court.
to the aggrieved parents the three men who abducted Human waited until her
parents were out of the house to seize the girl. Her mother, Nagina, laments
that police refused to accept their initial complaint, and filed the case only
on 12 October after refusing several times.
parents state that their daughter was supposed to appear before the court for
the scheduled hearing on 11 November, but she failed to show up. The parents
are apprehensive that she may no longer to be alive.
recent case of forced conversion from Sindh province was reported on social
media. As per the social media posts Mehak Kumari, 14, a resident of Jacobabad
district in the Sindh province and a student of 9th standard was reportedly
kidnapped on January 15 and later converted to Islam. A Facebook page called
Pakistani Hindus Youth Forum (PHYF) has reported the incident and says that
Mehak Kumari is a daughter of a businessman. She was kidnapped by one Ali Raza
Solangi, and converted on the pretext of marriage
stated to be laborer barely earning enough to support his two wives and
children it seem improbable that Mehak could fall for a guy already married
of forced conversion of non muslim
underage girls has spiked recently, a conservative figure of 1000 cases of
Hindu and Christian girls being forced to convert were estimated in the province
of southern Sindh alone in 2019. The reality is much grimmer. There are no
official figures available the experts however cite that the number may be in
thousands as many parents given their socio economic vulnerability do not seek
of cases of forced conversion pertain to the girl being underage, being
gullible and naïve the girls become easy targets for human and sex traffickers
who trick them into a life of slavery. These girls are not allowed to meet
their parents and all outside contact is strictly forbidden to bar them from
escaping their captors.
girls and young women have gone before the Sindh High Court asking for support
against their forced marriages. Ironically in Pakistan though marriage under
the age of 18 is illegal, forced conversion of underage children is not.
in 2016, Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a
bill against forced religious conversions: The Criminal Law (Protection of
Minorities) Act. The bill, however, was returned two months later by Sindh’s
then Governor, Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, without being ratified, due to pressure
from influential conservative and extremist Muslim groups.
dynamics of religio-political parties has made matters worse for the religious
minority in Pakistan. The nexus of wealthy landlords, extremist religious
organizations, weak local courts and an indifferent administration work in
tandem in this forced arrangement.
The all out
impunity against the clergy and extremist elements is deeply ingrained in the
political landscape of the country. The state becomes hapless at the hands of
these religious leaders who assert their clout and stall all measures to
legislate against the practice. Unlike
other Muslim countries the state authorities in Pakistan do not issue the
conversion certificate. Instead it is the “conversion factories” or madressah
who issue these, making the veracity of voluntary conversion virtually
for example those who want to convert submit an application/affidavit saying
they are adults and want to change their religion. The process takes around
three months. Then, a statement is recorded by a civic authority. Conversions
cannot take place without the consent of the family in case of a minor.
must legislate and implement the law against forced conversions the religious
seminaries should be prohibited from issuing conversion certificates and any
contravention must be penalized. Moreover the law against child marriage must
be adhered to strictly to curb forced conversions and subsequent underage
matrimony. Conversion subsequently, becomes a secondary issue if underage
marriage can be stopped entirely.
would like to remind the Prime Minister Imran Kahn of his promise made during
his election campaign to uplift religious groups across Pakistan and to take
effective measures to prevent forced marriages of Hindu girls. The IHRC
believes that unless a law is enacted on conversions and strictly implemented,
it will be an uphill task to put a stop to forced conversions.
demands for the recovery and impartial enquiry into the kidnapping and forced
conversion of the teenage girls- Huma Younus and Mehek Kumari- the state must
outlaw the practice of forced conversion penalizing those issuing the
certificate of conversion.
Headline: Call to recover forcibly converted minor girls
Source: Change. org