CHITRAL: A day after clashes broke out in Chitral between Muslims and people of Kalash tribe over an alleged forced conversion of a Kalash girl to Islam, the district administration aided by local elders and elected representatives succeeded in resolving the dispute after the girl clarified she embraced Islam out of her own will.
Reena, a Kalash girl, said in a statement that she decided to turn to Islam at her own free will, dispelling earlier reports she was forced to convert.
Prior to her appearance before media in the office of District Naib Nazim Abdul Shakoor, the daughter of Ghulam Mohammad had her statement recorded under Section 164 before judicial magistrate Syed Fazal Wadood Jan on Friday.
Clash in Chitral over Kalash girl’s ‘forced’ conversion to Islam
“I belonged to Kalash faith but was fed up of it, therefore, I embraced Islam at my own free will.” she said in a brief statement. “Islam is a complete code of life, which is why I made my decision to accept it as my faith."
Later in presence of District Naib Nazim Abdul Shakoor and other elders, Reena told media men she was not pressurised to change her faith.
On the occasion she also recited Kalma to consolidate the claim of her conversion without any pressure.
Meanwhile, Reena's father has allowed his daughter to reside with other relatives who have already converted to Islam.
“She has now told media of residing with her uncle, who resides in the same area," district naib nazim told The Express Tribune.
Faces of Kalash: Untold stories of the valley
Reena converted to Islam three days ago, and was invited to her home by her parents and elders of Kalash community on Thursday.
However, news of her being reconverted to Kalash faith broke out as some people alleged her relatives of forcing the girl to change her faith.
This had prompted a violent reaction from angry Muslims in all over Kalash valley, particularly in Bumburet, and surrounding areas. People pelted stones at the house, where Reena was present with her parents and others.
However, police succeeded in bringing the situation under control after firing a few tear gas shells and resorting to baton charge against Muslim activists.