Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pakistan: Many Hindu girls forced into Muslim marriages


Pakistan is a Muslim-majority country with 80% of the population following Islam. Reports show many Hindu Pakistani girls are forced into Muslim marriages. 

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Dhaka Tribune
By Tribune Online | February 21, 2017

Around 1,000 girls from minority religious groups in Pakistan are forced to convert to Islam every year, local Pakistani human rights group South Asia Partnership-Pakistan reports.

USA Today reports: “Legislation banning such conversions for those under age 18 was passed unanimously late last year by the legislature of the southern province of Sindh … but it never went into effect.”

The measure, which called for up to five years in jail for those who forced a conversion, was objected by Islamic groups. “They threatened protests, arguing the law was anti-Islamic and part of a conspiracy to make Pakistan a secular country,” USA Today writes.

The report also quotes Hafiz Saeed, a leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (a self-described charity that the United States has labeled a terrorist group): “We will not remain silent on this controversial law.”

This legislative measure was later vetoed in January by Sindh Governer Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui. According to activists, this defeat was a major hindrance for human rights in Pakistan.

The report also recounts two instances where girls were abducted and police refused to help their families. In one narrative, fourteen-year-old Ameri Kashi Kohli was abducted by her landlord and forced to marry him to become his second wife.


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