Forceful conversion is now an axiomatic fact occurring in our country on a large scale, especially in Sindh province which accommodates most
of the Hindu population in Pakistan. Premier Imran Khan, who envisions transforming Pakistan into a state of Madina, must take notice of the injustice and atrocities executed against non-Muslim minorities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and constitute a special body with the mandate to look into this matter gravely and suggest measures
to arrest this shameful practice of forced conversion which is bringing notoriety not only to our beloved country but also to our religion, Islam.
The building of civil court Jacobabad Sindh reverberated with slogans of “ALLAH O AKBAR” when a newly wedded couple comprising of the bride named Mehak kumari re-named as Alizah after conversion to Islam, reached to get their statement recorded
before a magistrate. Sarcastically, the whole scene gave the impression as if my Muslim brothers had conquered an impregnable forte.
a moment, I was struck dumb, delving into meditation over what was there to celebrate as a Muslim since it was a matter between two souls who culminated their love-affair into marriage and since it was impossible for a Hindu girl to consummate his love without
being Muslim, she out of such compulsion, had to embrace Islam.
According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, more than 8 million Hindus currently live in different parts of Pakistan, making up 4% of the country’s population of 197 million.
Factually speaking, the whole episode of such conversion by a Hindu girl to Islam from beginning to end lacked the very narrative as advanced by my brothers in faith that the girl, having been impressed
by the true faith (Islam), decided to embrace it and marry a Muslim boy. Hence, dragging religion into this love story by either side for sure, would be unfair and unjust. It is nothing but exploitation of religion for personal gains. The Hindu community,
therefore, should not attribute the act of an individual Muslim to whole Islam and subject the religion of nearly 1.5 billion Muslims to unwarranted stricture.
On the other hand, the Hindu parents of the girl went into uncontrollable emotions when their daughter, whom they mothered for a long period of sixteen years, recorded that she fears insecurity from her parents and hence prayed the court
for protection from her parents. It was really a heart-wrenching moment for everyone present in the court. The more shocking aspect of the story was that the parents were subjected to humiliation and ignominy in the name of that religion which holds parents
in high esteem and equates hurting parents with an unpardonable sin.
Additionally, the parents of the girl apportioned allegation of
abduction by a Muslim boy and appraised the court that their daughter was forcibly converted to Islam and then married. However, the matter is sub judice; let the court conclude by unearthing the truth of the matter.
As far as the matter of forceful conversion is concerned, it is now an axiomatic fact that it is happening in our country on a large scale, exclusively in Sindh province which accommodates
a lot of Hindu population. According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, more than 8 million Hindus currently live in different
parts of Pakistan, making up 4% of the country’s population of 197 million. A majority of them reside in Sindh where they constitute 6.6 % of the population, mostly concentrated in urban areas of the lower Indus valley.
The famous seminaries of Sindh Bharchoondi sharif and Amrot sharif support such forceful conversions. These seminaries patronize and encourage such forced conversions
to Islam by providing the abductor not only with shelter and security but also with finance to lead his future life comfortably. Encouraged by such humongous support by these religious fanatics, our Muslim youth is now resorting to this inhuman practice of
abduction and forced proselytism.
Rinkle Kumari was 16 years old when she was abducted, allegedly forcibly converted, and married to
her kidnapper. Twice she cried and pleaded to go back home to her parents. Once before the civil court, and then, before the Supreme Court when it took up a pending petition on forced conversions initiated by the Pakistan Hindu Council.
Dr. Mehdi Hasan, Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), while highlighting this fact remarked “Many madrassas in interior
Sindh are actively involved in undertaking forced marriages. They are given patronage by political parties and influential figures in the province which further renders the minorities helpless.” He said minorities did not feel secure in a country where
no legislation exists to protect the rights and dignities of marginalized communities. “It is the responsibility of the government, state, and the parliamentarians to make stringent laws to discourage the rising trend of forced conversion and unsolicited
marriages. The matter becomes more atrocious when the children below the age of 18 years are forced to marry in violation of laws,” he added.
According to this year’s HRCP report, at least 1,000 girls have forcibly converted to Islam annually, the majority of them being Hindus. The lack of exact data on conversion cases owes to the fact that a vast majority of the instances aren’t
reported. Moreover, The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan believes that more than 20 Hindu girls are kidnapped every month.
the parents of the victim remain deprived of getting justice in our country for justice is the privilege reserved for the wealthy and powerful. The case of Rinkle Kumari should still be fresh in our minds. Rinkle Kumari was 16 years old when she was abducted,
allegedly forcibly converted, and married to her kidnapper. Twice she cried and pleaded to go back home to her parents. Once before the civil court, and then, before the Supreme Court when it took up a pending petition on forced conversions initiated by the
Pakistan Hindu Council. However, despite this, when the Supreme Court reassembled after a lengthy adjournment to hear the case, Kumari had somehow changed her statement and then accepted that she had changed her religion and married of her own free will. No
proceedings ever initiated to learn that what happened to change her mind, but we can all guess, with a high degree of certainty, that her kidnappers coerced her to capitulate to their demands.