On an average around 20 to 25 Hindu girls are being forcibly converted to Islam every month in the southern Sindh province, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said.
Urging the authorities to take note of these forced conversions, HRCP officials told reporters on Saturday that culprits were taking advantage of loopholes in the law.
Amarnath Motumel of the HRCP said that within a month 20 forced conversions had taken place.
“Apart from minor school girls, married women with children are not spared either,” he said.
The issue of Hindu girls being forcibly converted has come to the fore after the case of 18-year-old Rinkle Kumari from Sukkur who has converted and taken the Muslim name of Faryal after marrying a Muslim boy.
The family of the girl claim she was kidnapped and forcibly converted even after she appeared in court in Sukkur and claimed she converted out of her own free will.
But Motumel pointed out that not only were affected families warned of dire consequences but whenever a Hindu girl or her family appeared in court hundreds of religious zealots gather to pressurise them or they take to the streets as pressure tactics and to create an atmosphere of fear.
The families of Rinkle Kumari were also present at the conference in which her brother Inder said that had she been allowed to meet with her family members privately and even once she would never have converted.
“Despite the President’s orders for the girl’s rescue we are still waiting for something to be done.”
HRCP official Professor Badar Soomro said there was a need to enact new laws to restore a sense of security among the Hindu community.
He also said if a girl is kidnapped and her family registers a case she should be kept in a Darul Aman at least for a month before she is produced in court to record her statement.