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    Hindu Worker Being Pushed To Curse His Deities Offers Glimpse Into Pakistan’s Forced Conversion Malice

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    A man in Thar was arrested on Tuesday for forcing a Hindu worker to curse his deities and chant Islamic slogans. It is appreciable that action was taken against him, but the incident epitomises religious supremacism prevalent in the country. This is especially true in the case of forced conversions, with the law enforcement authorities too weak-willed to take note, let alone action.

    According to a Human Rights Commission of Pakistan report around 1,000 girls and boys are converted to Islam every year. The National Commission of Justice and Peace, Movement for Solidarity and Peace, and the Pakistan Hindu Council also say that around 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are converted to Islam and forced to remain with their abductors and attackers.

    “[Many] Hindu girls have been kidnapped and frequently converted. It is difficult to gather the exact count,” said Amarnath Motumal the former vice-chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

    A prominent accused in this regard is Baba Deen Muhammad Sheikh. He has reportedly converted more than 110,000 Hindu girls since 1989.

    The Bharchundi Sharif Shrine is well known for forcibly converting young Hindu girls. Former member of Pakistan National Assembly Mian Abdul Haq, alias Mian Mithu, of Ghotki, along with Pir Sarhandi of Umerkot, drive the conversions.

    Similarly, Pir Waliullah Sarhandi professes to have converted scores of Hindu girls in the Umerkot area. He says: “When a young lady is brought before a qazi to be converted to Islam, the qazi must consent right away. On the off chance that he delays the conversion, even to state his petitions, he becomes a kafir.”

    Establishments like Bharchundi Sharif and Sarhandi shrine are known to have the backing of Sindh’s powers that be. As a result, the menace of forced conversions is perilously growing in the Tharparkar, Umerkot, and Mirpur Khas.

    The PPP in 2016 passed a bill banning those under the age of 18 from converting, which outraged Islamist groups. The Council of Islamic Ideology dubbed it ‘un-Islamic’, and Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Sirajul Haq pushed Asif Ali Zardari to withdraw the bill.

    Politician Haresh Chopra said that converting vulnerable children is a business. He pinned the blame of forced conversions on institutions like Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board and their dealings with religious properties belonging to minorities. “The PETPB is acquiring properties and selling them to builders for higher prices. No one is doing anything against them,” he said.

    On May 5, 2021, in Goth Ghulam Muhammad, Leylan Kohli was raped by four persons and asked to recite the kalma. She was forcibly converted to Islam to facilitate her rapist taking her custody.

    On August 17, 2020, Simran Kumari was first kidnapped, and later on, her family got calls from clerics that her daughter wants to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim man.

    In March 2019, two sisters Reena and Raveena were abducted and later moved to Bharchundi Sharif Shrine where they were married to Muslim boys. The sisters were 14 and 15 years old. This happened in the absence of their father.

    Rinkle Kumari, a 19-year-old Pakistani student, Lata Kumari, and Asha Kumari, a Hindu working in a salon, were purportedly compelled to change over from Hinduism to Islam. Their cases were sent to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, but they were forced to stay with the men they were married to.

    As indicated by the Pakistan Hindu Council, religious prosecution, particularly forced conversion, is pushing Hindus to leave Pakistan. For, the ongoing ‘purification’ is no different to the events of 1971. And you cannot get different results by repeating the same thing.

     

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