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Standing committee's consensus over forced conversion draft

Published Jul 16, 2012 01:39pm


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Protestors hold posters in favor of Faryal bibi (Rinkle Kumari), a Muslim convert, while policemen stand guard to avoid any untoward incident on the occasion of her case-hearing at Sindh high court (SHC) in Karachi. –  File Photo by PPI

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly’s standing committee on National harmony decided on Monday to send its recommendations over amendments in the existing laws of forced conversions to the law ministry, DawnNews reported.

The meeting was presided over by Dr Mahesh Kumar.

The draft of recommendations to stop the forced conversions was proposed by MNA Reena Kumari.

Kumari argued that commissions, headed by the high court judges, should be established at the provincial level to monitor the incidents pertaining to the forced conversions.

The commission would comprise of people belonging to different faiths and religions that are practiced in the country, she said.

“Without commission's decision, no court can announce its verdict over any forced-conversion related case,” she added.

It was recommended in the amendment draft that, in forced conversion cases, there was a need for a safe house where a person could independently decide about his/her religion without any pressure.

The draft also recommended the life sentence and some financial penalty for those who are found to be involved forced conversion activities.

The standing committee had a mutual consensus over the proposed draft and the committee has decided to forward the draft to the law ministry.

Senior Secretary of national harmony ministry Sikander Ismael informed the committee that the ministry was in process of developing a telephone hotline to address the minority related issues but lack of funds and human resources is delaying the process.


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Comments (7) Closed

@SecularPakista1 Jul 16, 2012 02:43pm
An idealogy that is forced upoon people will not work. If you cannot convert people to your faith by your reasons and pious acts, then intmidating them into converting is like taking a hostage. The hostage will flee, the first chance they get, unless you kill them.
Anjum James Paul Jul 16, 2012 02:55pm
There must be religious freedom in Pakistan that lacks much here due to the discriminatory laws. Minorities must be treated as equal as majority for the establishment of a peaceful coexistence. We appreciate the step taken by the standing committee but there must not be delay in law making.
brighton Jul 16, 2012 05:10pm
Judges and governmental instruments will not whole heartedly participate fully to protect the forced converted minority members as long as they consider Islam is far better religion and it is sunnat to convert non muslims. Wish you good luck for making commission. I pray you find fairer people to implement.
vijay Jul 16, 2012 06:47pm
Are hindus still enough in numbers to be represented as people from different faith? OR The killing and conversions is all ready complete in the land parcel called Pakistan?
Ashfaque Khan Jul 16, 2012 07:18pm
The Standing Committee on National Harmony ought be commended on its recommendation for harsh punishment on forced conversion. Why should someone's religion be anybody's business. Pakistan as a 95% Muslim majority country should not feel obliged to force the remaining 5% of the minorities to also become people of the same faith. Even in the early day's of Islam, Prophet Muhammad never forced the Jews and Christians to become Muslims. People who did convert did it on their own violation and not due to any threat. The protestors shown in the accompanying photograph should remember how would they feel if countries with non-Muslim majorities forced their Muslim minorities to convert or get killed. After the Spanish inquisition in 1492, that country forced its Muslims to convert or killed them. I am sure these Jihadist would not like it to happen again. If we want peace and tranquility in the world, people should be left to chose their own religion because it is a personal matter of conscience and not a decision made be a mob or state. I would also encourage all people of good will in Pakistan to stand up against these so called protector of the faith and stop this practice of forced conversion and join the community of nations which practice freedom of faith. I would also extend my apologies to the minorities for having to face this challenge.
Saleem Ansari Jul 17, 2012 05:31am
We as Muslims must take responsibility for safe guarding the lives, properties and freedom of our religious minorities. Jinnah sahib's vision of Pakistan must be made a reality. Prophet Muhammad pbuh was a perfect example of Compassion and Mercy and that's what we all should strive for.
Aziz Jul 17, 2012 06:30am
Forced conversion is anti-Islamic and must be stopped