Islamabad, June 17 (IANS) A day after clashes broke out in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa between Muslims and people of the Kalash tribe over “forced conversion” of a Kalash girl to Islam, the girl clarified that she embraced Islam of her own will.
Reena, a Kalash girl in Chitral, said in a statement that she decided to turn to Islam of her own free will, dispelling earlier reports she was forced to convert.
“I belonged to Kalash faith but was fed up of it, therefore, I embraced Islam at my own free will.” she said in a brief statement. “Islam is a complete code of life, which is why I made my decision to accept it as my faith.”
Later in the presence of District Naib Nazim Abdul Shakoor and other elders, Reena told mediapersons she was not pressurised to change her faith.
She also recited the Kalma to consolidate the claim of her conversion without any pressure.
Meanwhile, Reena’s father has allowed his daughter to reside with other relatives who have already converted to Islam.
Reena converted to Islam three days ago, and was invited to her home by her parents and elders of the Kalash community on Thursday.
However, news of her being reconverted to Kalash faith broke out as some people alleged her relatives of forcing the girl to change her faith.
This had prompted a violent reaction from angry Muslims in all over Kalash valley, particularly in Bumburet, and surrounding areas. People pelted stones at the house, where Reena was present with her parents and others.
Nestled in the picturesque Chitral valley, the Kalasha people, who follow an ancient animistic religion number only around 3,000.