Earlier, Jagjit Kaur, a Sikh girl was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam in Nankana Sahib which had caused a huge uproar. In another
horrific incident, a 13-year-old Pooja Sotahar Kumari, daughter of Fatan Rathore, resident of village Bakhsho Laghari in Hyderabad district’s Hosri Taluka, was kidnapped, forcefully converted and subsequently married off to a man identified
as Syed Irshad Shah.
The role of Madrassas
The role of madrassas in Pakistan has always been under the lens for its active role in forced conversion. Madrassas plays the pivotal role for these activities in Pakistan. Today condition of minorities in Pakistan is not only the result
of state policies to alienate community but also the mind game of religious extremists who govern these madrassas.
report stated that the conversions mainly take place in Thar region and particularly in districts of Umerkot, Tharparkar, Mirpur Khas, Sanghar, Ghotki, and Jacobabad. The report also emphasized that financial and economic conditions are primary reasons for
conversions. Decrease in minority population depicts clear picture. The problem for minorities is exaggerated due to extremist religious groups, weak local courts, and insensitive administration. Sources in these regions say that Dargah Pir Bharchundi Sharif
and Dargah Pir Sarhandi are the symbols of terror and fear for locals.
Harris Khalique, writer and Secretary-General of the Human Rights Commission
of Pakistan emphasized that madrassas are provided with institutional backing because these kinds of incidents cannot take place in isolation. He reiterates that responsibility of such incidents lies with the state.
The Muslim groups have opposed the Sindh Criminal
Law (Protection of Minorities) 2015 which was unanimously passed by Sindh assembly and finally legislation could not become law and it will never. This further reiterates that Muslim Extremist-fundamentalists still govern the social issues of Pakistan in collusion
with military leadership and puppet government in true sense.
At last, root of forced conversions can be traced to the Anti-Hindu sentiment
of Extremists and leadership. Political leadership has never been in position of taking any worthwhile descision.
Forced religious conversions are norm in Pakistan and also frequencies of such events have increased manifold in recent past. The forceful conversion
programmes have often been unleashed against the minorities especially Christians, Sikhs and Hindus living in Pakistan with utmost brutality. However, Pakistan’s various madrassas and extremist religious organizations, involved in such heinous crime
always deny their role in ‘forceful’ conversion by linking such incidents to factors like belief in Islam, financial independence and also blame customs and religions other than Islam.
Pakistan failed to prevent child marriage. In case of conversion of minor girls, the primary failure is in implementation of law against child marriage. A Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaaf lawmaker said that authorities
are not keen to resolve and initiate action on these issues fearing backlash from powerful religious groups.
A report by the South Asia Partnership-Pakistan
in collaboration with Aurat foundation disclosed that At least 2,000 girls of Hindu, Sikh, Christian and other minority community are converted to Islam every year.
The fact remains that Sindh, a home to nearly 90% Pakistan’s Hindu population and has literacy rate of only 45%. The overall population of minorities in Pakistan has decreased from 23% to 1.5% at present which speaks itself for the
rampant conversion of minorities in Pakistan.
28 Oct 2019/Monday
Written by: Azeema