Source: Associated Press
BY Munir Ahmed
ISLAMABAD (AP) — An independent rights watchdog on Monday raised concerns about incidents in Pakistan of forced conversions and marriages of girls from the country’s minority Hindu and Christian community to Muslim men.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in it annual report said lawmakers need to pass effective legislation to end the practice — the extent of which remains unclear. It said around 1,000 cases of forced conversion of Hindu and Christian girls were reported just in the southern Sindh province last year. In some cases, it said the girls were recovered on court orders, but the situation in general remained appalling.
“Unfortunately, no authentic data is available on forced conversions” and marriages in Pakistan, the report said.
Ghazi Salahuddin, a senior member of the watchdog, said Pakistani media have also faced “unprecedented curbs” in the previous year. However, he did not answer a direct question when asked whether the army was behind imposing such curbs on the press.