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Sindhi Foundation to hold event during UNGA session to raise awareness against Pak girls' forced conversion

Religion Belief


A US-based Sindhi organisation will hold an event to raise awareness against the abduction and forced conversion of thousands of young Sindhi girls to Islam in Pakistan during the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York on Thursday.

The event, titled Daughters Gone Forever, will be organised by Sindhi Foundation which has frequently raised the issue of religious persecution in Pakistan.

"Sindh has always been peaceful, coexistent and democratic. Through these efforts we want to raise awareness about the beauty of Sindhu Civilization which is based on love, equality, and happiness," said Maqbool Halepota, the President of Sindhi Foundation, as cited by EIN Presswire.

According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, every month between 40 to 60 Sindhi girls are abducted and forced converted to Islam and the families who report about it are often ignored by police, never submitting a First Information Report (FIR). Therefore, girls are left with their abductors, where they are often coerced into silence through threats or use of violence against them or their families.

From January 2004 to May 2018, there were 7,430 cases registered, although the numbers are estimated to be higher since many go unreported.

The recent incident of the murder of Sindhi Hindu girl, Namrita Chandani, had led to nationwide protests in Pakistan and highlighted the gravity of the situation. The mystery around the murder of Namrita has raised suspicions, with people questioning whether it was a case of forced conversion.

"Sindhis do not have any hope in Pakistan, our daughters are brutally murdered or gone forever in the hands of extremists, and many Sindhis are leaving because of fear," said Sufi Laghari, the Executive Director of Sindhi Foundation.

The foundation said that the Pakistani government, religious leaders, and politicians alike are involved or responsible for these incidences of religious persecution. "The aim of these influential leaders is to convert young girls to Islam in the easiest way possible: abducting them, abusing them, and marrying them off to older Muslim men," Laghari added. These girls are never able to see their families again; they are "Daughters Gone Forever".

Islamabad has also reportedly been discriminating against its religious minorities, which is manifested in various forms of targeted violence, mass murders, extrajudicial killings, abduction, rapes, forced conversion to Islam, etc., making the Pakistani Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas, and Shias one of the most persecuted minorities in the region.

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

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First Published: Wed, September 25 2019. 17:14 IST