Forced conversions un-Islamic: Pakistani Senate panel

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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.

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“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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