ISLAMABAD: A minority lawmaker from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that Hindu teenagers and women were still being forced to change their religion in the province of Sindh despite clear instructions by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the country’s apex court.
“This practice continues unabated,” Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani told The Express Tribune.
Dr Vankwani cited the case of a Hindu woman who recently converted to Islam and married a Muslim man in Hyderabad without dissolving her previous marriage. “How can a woman be married to another person without legal separation from her husband?” he questioned. He said also cited several cases of forced conversions in Hub Chowki and Shahdadkot areas.
“One can’t imagine the agony and miseries of the families, whose daughters are forcibly converted to another faith,” said Dr Vankwani, who is also the patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC).
Such conversions are looked upon as more of a stigma and more painful than the death of their daughters. “In case of death, one gets consolation after sometime but in case of such conversions, the daughter remains alive but her parents’ lives turn into hell,” he said.
The MP said this is one of the main reasons why the Hindus are migrating to India.
He also criticised some clerics who generally defend such conversions and marriages. According to him, there are around eight million Hindus in Pakistan out of which 6.7 million live in Sindh alone.“To eliminate this menace, a piece of legislation namely the Hindu Marriage Act is under consideration in the National Assembly,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2016.
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