'Missing' Hindu girls 'embrace' Islam in Pakistan

Pakistan was placed on the watch-list of the FATF in February 2012 and taken off the list  three years later in February 2015  | Reuters Representational image | Reuters

Two Hindu girls aged 14 and 16, who were declared 'missing' from their homes in Sindh, have embraced Islam, Pakistan Today reported on Friday. The parents of the girls, Reena and Raveena, said they were 'abducted' on the eve of Holi. However, according to the publication, the Karachi police said the duo claimed they embraced Islam under no pressure and that they left home of their own accord.

Authored by Kamal Siddiqi, a former editor of the Express Tribune, a 2017 article had claimed that the manner in which the Hindu community is being treated in Sindh province is and should be a matter of shame for all Pakistanis.

"In present day Pakistan, Hindu women are under constant danger of being kidnapped and then converted to Islam, forcing the hapless woman to break all ties with their families and live the rest of their lives in an alien environment, married to a stranger. Such criminal incidents are unfortunately presented in Pakistan as a good deed under the garb of religion," Siddiqi says in his article.

Narrating events surrounding such incidents, Siddiqi says once a girl is kidnapped, her family runs from pillar to post to get information about her whereabouts, even as the state machinery works in favour of the kidnappers. After much to and fro, an FIR is lodged, but by that time, the Pir in Dargah Bharchundi has already issued a "conversion certificate" and married off the couple. So, when the police finally "locates" the couple to present them in court, all the legal formalities have been completed.

The Sindh Assembly's Forced Conversion Bill, a private bill jointly moved by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (F) lawmakers, was passed unanimously on November 24, 2016. However, under pressure from lawmakers, the governor was asked not to ratify the bill. 

-Inputs from ANI