Sat, 04 Dec 2021

Islamabad [Pakistan], November 23 (ANI): With Pakistan failing to enforce laws to protect minorities, the country has cut a sorry figure in the international community.

One of its most recent failures in this regard has come in the shape of the rejection of the Anti-Forced Conversion Bill in the country, Author Khadija Mughal said in Pakistan Daily.

The bill faced strong opposition from religious communities within Pakistan.

This came as clerics who were called by the Ministry of Religious Affairs in a meeting, unanimously opposed the bill in August, criticizing it for its clash with the domestic violence bill.

This was an all-Muslim gathering, without any representation from the non-Muslims community, Pakistan Daily reported.

"When parents cannot even scold their children under the domestic violence bill, so can they stop their children from embracing Islam?" a participant said.

The bill contains provisions that state that religious conversion of minors should be declared illegal in the country.

This bill has also been rejected by Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, the Special Representative to the Prime Minister Imran Khan on Religious Harmony, who termed the bill as 'anti-Quran'.

Following the development, the final blow to the bill came in October when a parliamentary panel in Pakistan rejected the proposal, citing an 'unfavorable environment' as the reason behind its rejection, the author said in Pakistan Daily.

Meanwhile, after the country has turned down the bill, 38 cases of forced conversion have been reported across the country.

This was observed by Peter Jacob, a long-time activist for the rights of the minorities and Director Centre for Social Justice, in a session on the theme Freedom of Religion and Belief titled Minorities under Threat - Forced conversions and Marriages at Asma Jahangir Conference, reported The News International.

The turning down of the bill on Forced Conversion by the parliamentary committee has emboldened the elements who conduct forced conversions of underage girls in an organised manner.

Jacob termed it sabotage of people's protection. He highlighted the problem of targeting young girls in particular and said the nation has been unable to find a way to address this menace because no sincere attempt has been made so far by the government to address this issue, reported The News International.

Meanwhile, the Human rights organizations also assess that each year, around 1,000 religious minority (Christian and Hindu) women and girls are kidnapped and forced to convert and marry Muslim men in Pakistan, analysist Ewelina U Ochab was quoted as saying by Pakistan Daily. (ANI)

More Beijing News

Access More

Sign up for Beijing News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!