New Delhi: Minor girls from Pakistan’s minority communities are forcibly transformed to Islam and married to men twice their age. Most of these weddings are non-agreeable. According to a report, more than 1,000 girls from Pakistan’s religious minorities are transformed to Islam each year.
According to human rights activists, these approaches have expanded dramatically amid COVID-19 lockdowns when families are more in deficit and bride traffickers are more involved on the Internet. Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department expressed Pakistan as “a country of particular concern” for infringements of spiritual independence. The assertion was based on information by U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom which said that underage girls from the minority Hindu, Christian, and Sikh communities were “kidnapped for forced conversion to Islam, forcibly married and subjected to rape.”
Once they are abducted, girls are instantly wedded to older men or abductors. According to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, forced conversion is a money-making nexus that depends on Islamic clerics as they standardize such marriages, magistrates who legalize the coalitions, and immoral local police who contradict to act and analyze such crimes reported by girl’s parents. According to a Pakistani child rights activist, the web targets non-Muslim girls as they are extremely weak. He also said that the religious conversion to Islam is not the main cause behind such kidnappings but to ensure virgin brides.
Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan are often regaled as second-class citizens by the Pakistani ruling elite and the Muslim majority people. Pakistani minorities are usually systemically contrasted against in every walk of life be it housing, jobs, access to government welfare due to which they transform to Islam to get by. Pakistani Hindu community leaders say that many families from their community transformed to Islam because of this unnecessary coercion and state-sponsored discrimination.