RT calls for nationwide protests in case of invalidation of bill on forced conversions

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We will stage nationwide protest in case Sindh Government decides to repeal or invalidate the bill on forced conversions, said Chairman Rwadari Tehreek. In a social media statement, Samson Salamat Chairman of the non-profit social group RT said that there are news of the possible invalidation of the bill which was given a green signal just recently by the Sindh Assembly.

Forced Conversions of Hindu girls in Sindh

“If the Sindh government tries to make changes in the bill or annul it, we will have no other option but to stage general protests,” he Samson Salamat stated. Moreover, he further demanded that the Sindh government must clarify its stance over the issue, which has now become of prime importance.

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Samson Salamat went on to say that he and other rights campaigners are apprehensive about the pressure exerted by the religious parties, in this regard. He said that ever since the bill was passed, religious parties have been posing great opposition to the law. He said that the influence of religious parties on the provincial and national assemblies.

In line with recent details, Sindh government had directed a review of the bill on forced conversions; this bill was given a go ahead recently when it was passed as the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, 2015. Following the law being passed last month, the ruling party in Sindh Pakistan People’s Party announced that it will review the bill. The bill is yet to be signed by the Governor of Sindh Saeed uz Zaman, which is a legal formality. Later on it was disclosed that the lawmakers involved in chalking out the bill are facing threats.

Soon after the bill was passed, religious parties started opposing the bill declaring it as un-Islamic. In this regard, Jamaat-i-Islami Ameer Siraj-ul-Haq had expressed serious concerns about the new law adopted by the Sindh Assembly. JI Chief said that the Sindh Assembly must straightaway annul the law. He said that he would meet Asif Ali Zardari in person in order to bring the topic under discussion.

Just recently, the news of a telephonic communication between Asif Ali Zardari and JI Chief emerged detailing that Asif Ali Zardari had assured JI Chief that he is ready to invalidate the controversial bill which has forbidden forced conversions and pose serious punishments for those found guilty of forcing other person to convert. Senator Siraj ul Haq had welcomed this decision from the PPP leader and said that he respects all Pakistanis regardless of their religion.

This news has sparked indignation among the civil society, rights activists and social groups advocating for the rights of the minorities. The law was welcomed warmly by the masses as a good step towards curbing the scourge of forced conversions. In line with a report published by an NGO few years ago, about 300 Hindu girls were abducted and forced to convert in Sindh province only. At the same time, about 700 Christian girls in Punjab fell a prey to the bane annually.