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Imran vows to prevent forced marriages of Hindu girls

Updated July 12, 2018

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PTI chief Imran Khan speaks at the convention in Islamabad on Wednesday. — Online
PTI chief Imran Khan speaks at the convention in Islamabad on Wednesday. — Online

ISLAMABAD: Pledging to safeguard the rights of minorities if he comes into power, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khanon Wednesday announced his government will take effective measures to prevent forced marriages of Hindu girls with Muslims.

Also read: Forced conversion, marriage and the endless cycle of misogyny

“I have received complaints from the Hindu community in Sindh that their women are forcefully married to Muslims,” Mr Khan said while speaking to representatives of minority groups at a convention.

The PTI chief presented his party agenda for improving the life of minorities in the country by giving them the basic rights ensured in the Constitution.

It is the state’s responsibility to provide basic rights to underprivileged segments of society, PTI chief says

He said it is the state’s responsibility to provide basic rights to the underprivileged segments of society.

“Minorities were given their rights in the welfare state established by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Medina. However, the weak are deprived of their due rights in Pakistan,” he said.

Most Hindu families in Pakistan live in Sindh and according to media reports, some 25 forced marriages take place every month in the Umerkot district.

Imran Khan said the development of neglected areas, where most minorities reside, is the only way to rid them of the clutches of powerful and rich people.

He said the laws in Pakistan were different for the week and the powerful.

“An American national, Raymond Davis, was freed and allowed to leave Pakistan after killing two people due to diplomatic norms but if the same incident had taken place in the US, no one would have cared about diplomatic immunity,” he said.

The PTI leader said only those societies are considered civilized where everyone’s rights are protected by the state.

Imran Khan said the Constitution already safeguards the rights of all communities and their basic needs such as shelter, education and health.

He said he was very sure that the 2018 general elections will bring a significant change in the country under which people of all classes will be given their basic rights.

“It is only two weeks till the polls and I can foresee a revolution in the country,” he added. Mr Khan said his party had blocked the way of two mainstream political parties — PPP and PML-N—by exposing the corruption of their leaders.

He said in the past people had to vote for one of the two parties and that PTI had brought a new ray of hope for the people so they could see a new dawn in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2018

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