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Parliamentary panel to meet victims of forced conversion in Sindh

Parliamentary panel to meet victims of forced conversion in Sindh

ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on Minorities has decided to visit various areas of Sindh to meet the victims of forced conversion to asses the circumstances on ground and ensure timely and effective resolution of the issue.

The committee at a meeting on Monday considered in detail the cases of forced conversion in the country and the surrounding environment due to which these occurred.

Committee chairman Anwaarul Haq Kakar, a member of the Senate, floated the idea seeking permission for the members to visit those areas of the province which have reported high number of cases of forced conversion.

The committee unanimously decided to visit the most vulnerable areas of Sindh.

The committee also summoned the inspector general of Sindh police for the next meeting, along with official details of the reports and cases of forced conversion.

The province has reported a high number of such cases

“It would be essential to vet the circumstances on ground and ensure timely measures for effective resolution of the matter in future,” Senator Kakar said.

The committee also directed the National Commission for Minorities to submit all related evidence so that such cases could be cross-examined.

The committee members stressed that a holistic approach to review the reported cases was required to finalise suggestions on the matter.

The committee was informed that there was just one case of forced conversion in Islamabad territory as a married woman, Saima Iqbal Masih, was kidnapped in March 2019 from Iqbal Town in the vicinity of the federal capital.

However, the committee expressed concern over the rising number of cases in Sindh and said that stringent action must be taken against the perpetrators of such crimes.

The committee members stressed the need for legislation to stop forced conversions and upgrade the capacity building of relevant police officers to analysis the evidence connected with forced conversions.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and member of the committee Ali Muhammad Khan, Chela Ram, Kewlani, the chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Senator Dr Sikander Mandhro, Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed and MNAs Shunila Ruth, Jai Prakash, Lal Chand, Dr Darshan, Keshoo Mal Kheeal Das, Ramesh Lal and Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and relevant officials.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2020

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