There have been several incidents of forced conversions, especially of minority Hindu and Christians girls, but the governments and politicians in Pakistan have remained tight-lipped and have done almost nothing to address the issue.
On Thursday, October 20, a court in Pakistan’s Hyderabad city sent a 15-year-girl minor Hindu girl, who was abducted and forcefully converted to Islam, to a safe home. She was initially not allowed to go with her parents and instead was sent back to her abductor by the court. The court was on Thursday, however, forced to reverse its decision following a social media outrage and the judge ordered that she should be sent to a safe home and can meet her parents.
Netizens were enraged after a video of the teenage Hindu girl crying and clinging to her mother following the court’s ruling went viral on social media.
In what transpired, the 15-year-old was abducted by one Shaman Magsi and three others on 12 August in broad daylight from the Fateh Chowk area of Hyderabad in Pakistan. She was allegedly forcefully converted to Islam and married to her abductor.
Soon after, the girl’s parents rushed to a nearby police station to lodge a complaint of suspected forced conversion but reportedly the police did not register an FIR until September.
“We are poor people. No one here is helping us. I visit the police station almost every day but they are neither helping us nor saying anything about my daughter,” the mother of the kidnapped girl said.
In September, the police and human rights officials recovered the Hindu victim from Balochistan province and she was brought back to Hyderabad and kept in a shelter home as her abductor, now her so-called husband filed a case in court against her parents.
He also presented a medical and marriage certificate in court, claiming the girl was 19 years old. Her parents, however, informed the court on Thursday that she was a minor and that the police were not cooperating with them.
The Pakistan court initially accepted the marriage certificate and did not allow the minor to go back to her parents and instead sent her back to her abductor, but after social media uproar over videos of the girl crying and holding her mother inside the court surfaced, the judge ordered that she be moved to a safe home and a medical examination be conducted.
The abductor was also barred from contacting the girl or her family until the medical report was validated.
Hindus in Pakistan live in perpetual fear of persecution at the hands of the Muslim majority. News reports of Hindu women kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam, and married off to their abductors have become par for the course across the length and breadth of Pakistan but particularly stark in the southern province of Sindh. Even courts and judiciary have failed in providing justice to the Hindus as they had, in many cases, sided with the abductors and ordered Hindu women to live with their kidnappers. And not just women, but men too have been the victim of Islamic conversions in Pakistan.
Mass conversion of Hindus in Sindh, Pakistan
In July last year, OpIndia reported that as many as 60 Hindus were converted en masse to Islam in the Sindh province of Pakistan.
Similarly, in the year 2020, as many as 171 Hindu men, women and children belonging to the highly marginalised and socio-economically backward Bhil community have forcefully been converted to Islam in the Sindh province of Pakistan.