The Islamabad High Court has ordered the Pakistan government to take over the custody of two underage sisters from Ghotki, who were allegedly forcibly converted from Hinduism and were married to Muslim men.
The court has ordered the administration to provide complete safety to the girls, who along with their spouses Safdar Ali and Barkat Ali, had sought protection from any adverse action against them.
Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah has stated, “This is an extremely sensitive issue, Pakistan's respect is joined to it,” adding that “Ensuring the rights of minorities is our responsibility.”
Geo News: Islamabad High Court orders the state to ensure protection and take over the custody of two underage sisters from Ghotki, who were allegedly forcibly converted from Hinduism and married to Muslim men. #Pakistan pic.twitter.com/yaqmiN0sJM— ANI (@ANI) March 26, 2019
Even the Prime Minister on Naya Pakistan will not believe that girls of this tender age can voluntarily decide about their conversion to another religion and marriage. /2— Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 26, 2019
“I have heard the prime minister has ordered a fair and transparent inquiry into the matter, and that Shireen Mazari is also looking into it. Even if the girls are placed in a shelter home, the federal government must ensure their protection, a district and sessions judge will be appointed a guardian in this case,” the judge further said.
Although, the hearing has been adourned until April 2, an SP-rank police officer who is a female has to be appointed along with the girls to ensure safety.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Tuesday morning, “Forced conversion of Hindu girls in Pakistan : The age of the girls is not disputed. Raveena is only 13 and Reena is 15 years old.” She had also sough a report from the Indian High Commission over the incident.
Adding to his tweet, Sushma Swaraj demanded justice for th etwo Hindu girls and said, “Even the Prime Minister on Naya Pakistan will not believe that girls of this tender age can voluntarily decide about their conversion to another religion and marriage.”