Business Standard

Sikh girl's forced conversion to Islam: Amarinder seeks immediate intervention of Indian, Pak govts


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday expressed shock over reports of a Sikh girl being kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam in Pakistan and sought immediate intervention of Indian and Pakistani governments in the matter.
Singh demanded Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to take stern action against those responsible for it and said they should not be allowed to get way. He also urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to raise the issue with his counterpart in Islamabad.
Religion is a personal matter and forcible conversion of this kind has no place in any society, he said in a statement.
Union minister and Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal described the incident as a shameful act and said the Sikh community will go all out and tell the world what Pakistan is doing to minorities. "This issue will be raised and action will be taken," the Bathinda MP said.
The chief minister posted a video on Twitter and said, "Shocking incident of a Sikh girl being kidnapped & forced to convert to Islam in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan."

The video shows the Sikh girl's family claiming she was abducted, forced to marry a Muslim youth and converted to Islam under threat. The family seeks Imran Khan's help.
A video of the girl's wedding has gone viral on social media.
"Call upon@ImranKhanPTI to take firm and immediate action against the perpetrators. Request @DrS Jaishankar to strongly take up the issue with his counterpart at the earliest," Singh added in the tweet.
Union minister Badal said it was "totally shocking and shameful" that minorities in Pakistan were being attacked in this manner.
"Friends of@ImranKhanPTI who are in other parties in (Indian) Punjab should tell him to put an end to such things," she said in a tweet of her statement to a TV channel.
The "friends of Imran Khan" was an obvious reference to Congress leader and Punjab MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had travelled to Pakistan last year for Khan's swearing-in. The cricketer-turned-politician was intensely criticised for hugging the Pakistani army chief there.
Talking to media later, Badal asked the Punjab chief minister to take advantage and use "MLAs in his party who are friends of Pakistani prime minister" to put pressure on Khan to ensure justice is served to the Sikh girl.
Badal, who was on her way to Delhi from Amritsar, said the Sikh girl was abducted from Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak Dev.
The girl is the daughter of the Gurdwara priest, she said.
"To what level can they stoop, it is absolutely shocking and shameful and Imran Khan must immediately take action and ensure protection of minorities and walk his talk about having respect for Sikhs and Guru Nanak Dev ji," Badal said.
She said on one hand Pakistan says it is committed to open the Kartarpur Corridor and on the other, shameful incidents against minorities are happening in that country.
Asked what the Centre plans to do in the matter, she said, "Our government has always taken this up very strongly whenever there has been cases involving Hindu girls. We are going to take this up with the external affairs minister and we are going to strongly lodge our protest on what is being done by Pakistan."

"The Sikh community is going to go all out and tell the world what Pakistan is doing to the minorities there," she said.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 8:45 PM IST

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