Rights Of Minorities Should Be Protected: Islamabad HC Forms Committee To Probe Alleged Forced Conversion Of Two Hindu Girls
"Two girls- Reena, Raveena and their husbands had filed petition before the High Court seeking protection. In the petition they stated that they were born in a Hindu family of Ghotki, Sindh and converted because they were "impressed by Islamic teachings". "
The Islamabad High Court, while dealing with a petition of two girls, observed that it is the duty of Pakistan Government to dispel any impression regarding the alleged forced conversions.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah also constituted a committee for determining whether these girls had acted out of free will and without being influenced or under coercion.
Two girls- Reena, Raveena and their husbands had filed petition before the High Court seeking protection. In the petition they stated that they were born in a Hindu family of Ghotki, Sindh and converted because they were "impressed by Islamic teachings". In their petition, they submitted that they willingly converted and entered into marriages. While ordering protection to them, the High Court had sought the response of the authorities and the Government regarding the 'forced conversions'.
The bench, in its order today observed that the Commissioner Sukkur Division could not give a satisfactory explanation as to why the impression of alleged conversion and marriage of minors is restricted to his area of jurisdiction. It said:
"It is noted that the rights of minorities are not only to be protected but ought to be seen as protected. The instant case has raised controversies relating to protection of rights of the minorities. It is one of the most important constitutional duties of the Federal Government as well as the Provincial Government to demonstrate through its conduct and actions that rights of the minorities are protected. It is their duty to dispel any impression regarding the alleged forced conversions, particularly in the area of Sukkur Division."
The bench then constituted a Commission consisting of Ms Shireen Mazari, Federal Minister for Human Rights, Government of Pakistan, Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, former Judge of the Shariate Appellate Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, Ms Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Woman, Dr Mehdi Hassan, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and Mr I.A. Rehman, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. The commission has also been directed to probe into the impression of alleged forced conversion in Sukkur Division and insecurity, if any, on part of the minorities and submit a report, preferably within four weeks.