Minorities day rally condemns ‘forced’ conversion trend

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SINDH Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah speaks at a gathering of minorities at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Karachi on Thursday.—APP
SINDH Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah speaks at a gathering of minorities at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Karachi on Thursday.—APP

HYDERABAD: A large number of members of minorities and civil society organisations held a demonstration outside the press club here on Thursday in protest against alleged forced conversion of Hindu and Christian girls, reiterating their demand for legislation on the issue to discourage the trend.

Advocate Bhag Chand Bheel, Mukesh Meghwar and Pushpa Kumari who led the protest that coincided with National Minority Day urged the government to arrest Mian Mithoo of Ghotki and Pir Sarhandi of Umerkot, accusing them of facilitating forced conversions.

They complained the government had failed to take action against Mian Mithoo and Pir Sarhandi and appreciated the words of the founder of the country on minorities’ rights and called for legislation on their issues in the parliament.

The condition of religious minorities was going from bad to worse and their number was shrinking day by day, they feared.

They claimed that around 1,000 cases of forcible conversion of Hindu and Christian girls were recorded every year, while many cases went unreported.

They said that cases of conversion were mostly reported in Sindhi newspapers but were not highlighted adequately by mainstream Urdu and English electronic and print media.

They urged the mainstream media to raise minorities’ issues in order authorities concerned take their notice and evolve a comprehensive policy on them and take legislative measures.

They alleged that Hindu and Christian girls were abducted and produced after a period of two or three months during which they were threatened to forcibly change their religion.

They said the community was demanding the government make laws on the sensitive issue as it could not be resolved until a law was formed.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2016