ISLAMABAD: The Joint Action Committee for People’s Rights in an open letter to the prime minister on Tuesday demanded legal as well as administrative measures to protect minorities especially the underage girls from forced conversions.

The open letter said criminal elements in Punjab and Sindh were involved in forcible abductions, rapes and marriages of Christian and Hindu girls with impunity.

The letter signed by veteran human rights advocates including Irfan Mufti, Peter Jacob, Mohammad Tahseen, Hina Jilani, Rubina Jamil, Syeda Ghulam Fatima, Mehar Safdar, Farooq Tariq and Bushra Khalique demanded that the report of the Parliamentary Committee for Protection of Minorities from Forced Conversions and the draft bill prepared by the Ministry of Human Rights may be made public.

The letter has also urged the prime minister to ensure that the draft bill was presented in the Parliament at the earliest.

The action committee, consisting of 37 human rights groups, also expressed its concern over statements of the minister for religious affairs in which he suggested that there should not age limit for conversion whereas the draft bill sought 18 years age limit.

The committee said such statements were not only against the spirit of the constitution, judgments of the Supreme Court of Pakistan but were also in contradiction to the stand taken by the prime minister against forced conversion of minorities.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

UAE targeted
Updated 19 Jan, 2022

UAE targeted

MONDAY’S deadly drone strikes by Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeting the UAE, and subsequent retaliatory attacks on...
19 Jan, 2022

New province debate

THE private bill introduced by a PML-N senator seeking a new province in south Punjab amounts to oversimplification...
19 Jan, 2022

Omicron in Karachi

WITH the wedding season in full swing, it is no surprise that the Covid positivity rate in Karachi has been touching...
The establishment pivot
18 Jan, 2022

The establishment pivot

It is a sad reality that the power matrix continues to revolve around the establishment.
18 Jan, 2022

Remittances growth

THE hefty growth in remittances from Pakistanis living abroad continues to defy forecasts to the contrary. New State...
18 Jan, 2022

China-Iran deal

THE China-Iran strategic deal that has recently taken effect is more than just a long-term bilateral agreement...