Business Standard

Criminals who forced Sikh girl to convert in Pak deserve strictest punishment: Baloch activist


Naela Quadri Baloch, the World Baloch Women's Forum's President on Friday called for the Pakistani government to hand over the strictest of punishments to the perpetrators who forcibly converted a Sikh girl to Islam and forcefully got her married to a Pakistani man.
"In any civilised society this would have led to an outcry and the government would have quickly intervened to restore the girl to her family and ensure their safety. But that is too much to ask from Pakistan's government," Baloch said in a statement.
"Instead, the Punjab government wants to negotiate with the Sikh community. What is there to negotiate? The girl deserves to go back to her family and the criminals who forced her to go through this unfortunate ordeal deserve the strictest of punishments," she added.
"The Pakistani government and even the liberal English media do not find anything odd in this. In fact, rape, abduction and torture is part of their standard operating procedure of the army-controlled Pakistani state. These things have become normalised in Pakistan," she claimed.
The Baloch leader further said, "They happen to ethnic and religious minorities routinely. This happened on such a scale in East Bengal that India was compelled to intervene and divide Pakistan into two. Who understands this painful reality better than the suppressed Baloch people."
"Our just demands for independence are every day met with rape, abduction and torture. Will the international community ever take note of this?" she said, calling for action.
19-year-old Jagjit Kaur, who was missing for a number of days, surfaced on Thursday after she was forcibly converted to Islam and made to marry a Muslim man in Pakistan. Daughter of Bhagwan Singh, a 'granthi' (priest) of Gurudwara Tambu Sahib, she was converted to Islam at gunpoint.
The incident has raised a furore in India, with several political leaders across parties asking for action to be taken against the perpetrators.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 10:14 PM IST

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