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No Respite For Hindu Minority: Girl Forcibly Converted And Married In Mirpurkhas

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In yet another case of violation of minority rights, a Hindu girl was forcibly converted in Mirpurkhas, shedding light on the miserable state of minority affairs in the country.

According to details shared on social media by human rights activist Kapil Dev, a Hindu girl from Noukot, Mirpurkhas, was abducted. The girls was converted and married to a Muslim man, AllahDino.

In a tweet shared on social media, Dev asked why right-wing parties did not back a law to prevent the forcible abduction and conversion of Hindu girls.

The incident was received condemnation and criticism on social media. Users commenting on the post stated how the incident was condemnable and shameful.

Another user called for a legislation to be put in place in order to prevent such exploitation in the name of religion.

People also pointed out that the girl did not even seem of age.

A user also called on Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari to be more ‘vigilant’ in order to put a stop to such cases.

Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that Pakistan, along with Turkey and Malaysia, would be launching a channel to counter Islamophobia and to shed light on issues plaguing Muslim countries. A Twitter used criticised how the prime minister was planning to launch a channel to counter Islamophobia when minor girls from the minorities were at the receiving end of forcible conversions.

Child Marriage In Pakistan

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According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Pakistan has the sixth highest number of child brides in the world. This is the case when the country has committed to eliminate child and forced marriage by 2030 in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2014 and 2017, bills proposed by the National Assembly to criminalise child marriage failed to be passed. In the same year, the Sindh assembly adopted the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint, which raised the minimum legal age for marriage to 18 years.

In 2015, the provincial assembly of Punjab passed the Punjab Marriage Restraint Act 2015, which though increased the period of imprisonment and fines, kept the legal marriage age at 16.

The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa failed to raise the minimum marriage age to 18 years in 2016. The province of Balochistan is still governed by the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929, according to which the minimum age of marriage for girls is 14 years.

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