Indian Catholic News

Religious minorities vulnerable in Pakistan: Daily

It impossible to deny the fact that religious minorities vulnerable, the Dawn newspaper said in its editorial.


Religious minorities are more vulnerable than safe in Pakistan, a leading newspaper said on Wednesday.

An editorial in the Dawn newspaper made the comment after two Hindu sisters, both minors, were allegedly abducted, forced to embrace Islam and married.

"The state has a responsibility to preserve and protect the right to freedom of religion, guaranteed under Article 20 of our Constitution," the editorial said.

"But it is impossible to deny the fact that religious minorities are, in many ways, more vulnerable than safe in Pakistan."

The editorial said that last week's abduction of Hindu sisters Reena and Raveena from their home in Daharki "is one of only a handful of the many claims of forced conversions in Sindh that actually gain public attention.

"Too often, officials casually lean into the suggestion that such incidents are simply a matter of women deciding to convert and marry of their own free will, a ‘family dispute' that should be resolved privately, ignoring the power dynamics that make this so suspect.

"The fact is that the majority of new converts in Sindh are young women or minor girls from socio-economically vulnerable Hindu families," the daily said.

"The nexus of power - politically influential families, clerics and seminaries - behind this phenomenon are also well known to all, while religious minorities have repeatedly pointed to a lack of appropriate concern displayed by police and judicial officers.

"In this case, too, despite the fact that an FIR was registered under the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013, the police seemingly attempted to minimize the allegations by pointing to a video of the two girls claiming they had chosen their fate voluntarily."

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