Forced conversions un-Islamic: Pakistani Senate panel

Islamabad, June 21 (IANS) A Pakistani Senate committee on Tuesday declared the conversion of Hindu girls to Islam as un-Islamic and also expressed concern over the practice.

“Forced conversion of girls to Islam is against the teachings of Islam and also a violation of law in the country,” Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs Chairman Hafiz Hamdullah said.

Hamdullah added that religion is a personal matter of every individual, and a person cannot be converted by force.

Earlier, Senator Gian Chand informed the committee that Hindu girls in Sindh province — home to the majority of the 3 million Hindus living in Pakistan — were the victims of force conversions.

Chand was of the opinion that police and the local administration do not help the victims or their families in cases of forced conversions.

“Police does not take action fearing the reaction of the Muslim community,” added Chand.

The standing committee urged the government to adopt a comprehensive mechanism for the protection of women belonging to minority communities. The committee also directed the federal and provincial governments to draft legislation which would curb the practice.

Last year, a move to criminalise forced religious conversions and to prevent misuse of the blasphemy law was endorsed by members of the Senate’s Functional Committee on Human Rights.



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