A US-based Sindhi organisation plans to hold a protest agianst abduction and forceful conversion of Hindu girls during United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York on September 26. The foundation has frequently raised the issue of forced conversion of girls in Pakistan, will be holding a demonstration under SaveSindhiGirl banner.
The protest will focus on the religious persecution in Pakistan, where every year around 1,000 Sindhi girls are abducted between 12 and 28, forcibly married and converted to Islam. The foundation has noted that such incidents have escalated recently. According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, every month between 40 to 60 Sindhi girls are abducted and the families who report about it are often ignored by police, never submitting a First Information Report (FIR). For this reason, the girls are often left with their abducters and coerced into violence and threats against them or their families. The commission also reports, every month 40 to 60 girls are abducted and converted. From January 2004 to May 2018, there were 7,430 cases registered, although the numbers are estimated to be higher since many go unreported.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to address the session during the UNGA meet. The foundation has reportedly said that there is involvement of influential political leaders with links with the army in the forced conversion of young girls. Among these names is Mian Mitho, a prominent religious leader and politician, who has participated in countless conversions of young Sindhi girls. He has close connections with both the Army and Imran Khan who have allowed him to do so without receiving any punishment for his actions. Pakisatan has been criticised for not looking into the situation of minorities living in their country.
Islamabad has also reportedly been discriminating against its religious minorities which is manifested in various forms of targeted violence, mass murders, extrajudicial killings, abduction, rapes, forced conversion to Islam, etc., making the Pakistani Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas and Shias one of the most persecuted minorities in the region.
During the meet on Safety of Religious minorites, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada had raised the concerns in the suppression of religious freedom by China and Pakistan and slammed the two Asian nations for 'persecuting and repressing' their religious minorities. They also emphasized on the discrimination suffered by the Uyghur community in China and of Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan.
(Inputs from ANI)