Parliamentary Committee in Pakistan Meets with Minorities on Issue of Forced Conversions
10/12/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to Dawn, several members of the Parliamentary Committee to Protect Minorities from Forced Conversions met with representatives of minority communities in Pakistan’s Sindh province to discuss the issue of forced conversions on October 8.
During the meeting, the committee claimed the government was fully committed to protecting the fundamental rights of religious minorities as provided by the Constitution of Pakistan. It also claimed that several steps had been taken to stop abductions, forced conversions, and forced marriages.
Speaking about the issue of forced conversions, Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Federal Minister for Religious and Inter-Faith Harmony, said, “We bring religion into everything. But our religion is against forceful conversions. The issue here is the non-implementation of laws to stop such wrongdoing. Awareness is also needed regarding the issue of forced conversions.”
According to a study by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are abducted, forcefully married, and forcefully converted to Islam every year. Sexual assaults and fraudulent marriages are used by perpetrators to entrap victims and authorities are often complicit.
The issue of religion is also often injected into cases of sexual assault to place victims from religious minority communities at a disadvantage. Playing upon religious biases, perpetrators know they can cover up and justify their crimes by introducing an element of religion.
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