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Pak human rights watchdog raises concern over forced conversion of Hindu girls to Islam

ANI  |  Asia 

Pakistan's independent human rights watchdog on Monday raised concerns over increasing incidents of forced conversions and marriages of Hindu and Christian girls to Muslim men every year.

In its annual report, the Human Rights Commission of (HRCP) said that the government has done little to stop forced marriages and urged the lawmakers to pass effective legislations to end the practice.

"Violence against women and girls -- including rape, so-called honour killings, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced remains a serious problem. Around 1,000 cases of honour killings are reported every year," the report said.

The report further stated that early remains a serious problem, with around 21 per cent of girls in marrying before the age of 18, and three per cent marrying before reaching the age of 15.

However, the report did not mention any authentic data on forced conversions and forced marriages of girls belonging to minority communities in the country.

The report came less than a week after the had declared that the two Hindu teenage sisters - Raveena (13) and Reena (15), were not forcibly converted from Hinduism to Islam, and permitted them to live with their spouses.

The two Hindu girls were allegedly abducted from their home in Daharki taluka of district in province on the eve of Holi on March 20 and were allegedly converted to Islam.

The incident came to light after the girls' father and brother revealed the details in videos that went viral on In a separate video, however, the girls claimed that they accepted Islam out of their own free will.

The police had claimed last month that the two men were already married and had children from their previous marriages.

Following the incident, the members belonging to community in carried out massive demonstrations seeking strict action against those responsible for and marriages of Hindu girls.

also ordered a probe to ascertain the facts. However, a five-member committee, constituted by the Athar Minallah, last Thursday had probed the matter and concluded that it was not a

During an earlier hearing, the court had directed the state to take over the custody of two girls and ensure their safety. It also claimed that the story of their forcible conversion was 'fabricated'.

Earlier, had shared its concerns through an to over the incident.

Pakistan human rights activists had also claimed that the matter was another case of and abduction, which is becoming increasingly common in the southern region of

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 15 2019. 23:01 IST