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UMERKOT, Sept 2. A partial strike was observed in Umerkot on Sunday to denounce injustices and atrocities against minority communities.

Representatives of 40 Panchayats from Sindh attended a convention held in Lord Shiva Temple in Umerkot.

The strike was observed in response to a call given by the Hindu Welfare Panchayat Pakistan.

Over 20,000 people and members and leaders of about 40 Panchayats from Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Khipro, Tharparkar, Kunri, Samaro, Digri, Jhuddo and Naukot attended the convention.

President of the Hindu Welfare Panchayat Pakistan, Kishan Chand Parwani MNA, said minorities were migrating to India because they were feeling insecure in Sindh. Otherwise it is not easy for anyone to leave his motherland. He said unless legislation was introduced, it would be difficult to curb atrocities against minorities.

He demanded that when a girl was converted she should be produced in the court of law where her age and free will should be determined and she should be allowed to meet her parents. But 13-year-old girls were abducted and forcibly converted, he alleged.

Minority leader Lal Malhi said lives, property and religious places of minorities were not secure in the country. He thanked nationalists, human rights activists and Pir Pagara for supporting minorities and raising voice for them.

He appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan, president and other authorities to take notice of it.

Advocate Bhagchand Bheel, president of the Bheel Intellectual Forum, said minority students were taught ethics in classrooms while Muslims recited the Holy Quran. He demanded that minorities’ religions should be included in the syllabus. He referred to the speech of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah of Aug 11,1947 and said people wanted to see Pakistan of the Quaid-i-Azam.

Lachhman Das, Bhagchand Bheel, Kumar Tilwani, Dr N K Lohano and Gul Bhatia also spoke on the occasion.

At the convention, Lal Malhi was named coordinator of the Hindu Welfare Panchayat Pakistan for Umerkot chapter.

The convention adopted resolutions demanding dual voting rights for minorities, legislation to protect lives and property of minorities and allocation of job quota in accordance with population of minorities in each district. It rejected five per cent quota in jobs for minorities and called for an international commission to investigate forcible conversions.

They demanded that reserved seats should be abolished because these were given to outsider Hindu traders who protected their own interests.

Noted minority leaders and politicians like Rana Hamir Singh and Senator Dr Khatumal Jewan were not invited to the convention.