Dear Prime Minister,
I had always hated politics because I saw no ethics and morals in our politicians. But this hate ended the day you joined politics, because I always thought you had the potential to set things right.
I, a Pakistani Hindu citizen, am writing to you on behalf of every sister’s brother, every daughter’s father and mother, and on behalf of every girl’s blood relative. I want to tell you how Hindu and Christian fathers, mothers and brothers whose daughters and sisters are taken away from them feel.
They feel helpless and can do nothing as their daughters and sisters and not only abducted but also forced to leave their religion and embrace another one.
On 21st March as the Hindu community celebrated its religious festival of Holi, two minor Hindu girls were abducted from Daherki, District Ghotki, Sindh. It was later revealed that both have been forcibly converted to Islam.
Mr. PM, let me remind you of a promise you made before elections in one of your public rallies. You said you would serve justice and bring an end to the forced conversions of Hindu and Christian girls. Now is the time to act. You are the PM now, but the practice has continued unabated even under your watch.
We demand a national law against forced conversions. Islam does not condone forced conversions, so whoever is involved in this criminal practice is doing a disservice to the religion. Then we are told the girls who converted to Islam did it by choice. In that case, why is it that only under 18 Hindu and Christian girls are converted to Islam? Why are uneducated, illiterate and immature girls the only ones to leave their religion and embrace Islam? Why don’t mature and aged women convert?
It’s always the same story. A girl elopes with a Muslim man, converts to Islam and then refuses to go with her family. The fact is that these stories are made up. The kidnappers are often already married and they keep the girls for 10-15 days, rape them and forcibly convert them to Islam.
It’s about time we introduced a law against forced conversions. In 2016, when the provincial assembly passed a bill against forced conversion in the wake of a 14-year-old Hindu girl being married to a 55-year-old Muslim man, it was rejected after strong opposition from religious parties. How can one oppose efforts against child marriage? Will you marry off your 15-year-old daughter to a 55-year-old man?
It is good to feel outraged when Muslims are targeted in any corner of the world. I myself stand with the oppressed across the world as we should all stand against injustice. But shouldn’t we think about our own oppressed people first?
Isn’t it more important to ensure the safety of our own girls? Let’s stand up for our own people first. I urge all concerned citizens of Pakistan to raise their voice against forced conversions of women from the minority communities. We should join hands against this practice.
A Pakistani Hindu citizen