Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Plight of Hindu girls in Sindh

My view point on the recent wave of forced conversion of Hindu girls is published in Pakistan's leading English newspaper Daily DAWN.
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WHILE the world celebrates International Women's Day under the theme, "Connecting girls, inspiring futures", women of religious minorities in Pakistan, especially Hindu girls in Sindh, feel humiliated with no hope. In the last couple of days in Sindh, four Hindu girls (Lata Kumari from Karachi, Rinkal Kumari from Mirpur Mathelo, Aamna Kohli from Tando Bago, the constituency of NA speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, and Aasha Kumari from Jacobabad) were kidnapped and converted to Islam allegedly at gunpoint.
Such crime has stopped the Hindu community from even celebrating their scared festivals. In the last couple of weeks, more than a dozen minor children, traders, shopkeepers and businessmen of the Hindu community were reportedly kidnapped for ransom and several families have migrated due to insecure and unsafe future of their families and businesses.
Registration of fake cases and pressure of local influential are a routine threat to them. Extortion is another crime happening and the Hindus are bound to pay this amount in different parts of the province. More than 700 families have reportedly migrated to India and Southeast Asian countries in a few months.
The Hindu community has done a lot to develop the socio-economic landscape of Sindh and Pakistan, and all their hopes are attached with the land. Today, hundreds of thousands from this patriotic community feel alienated and like strangers in their homeland. No religion has allowed its followers to convert others by force; even Islam does not allow it. Then how can its followers indulge in such wrong conduct? (ZULFIQAR HALEPOTO, Hyderabad)

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