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Pak minority leaders worried over parliament's silence on forced conversions of Hindus

Islamabad, Mon, 09 Apr 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Apr 9(ANI): The lack of willingness to discuss marriages enforced on Hindu women in the Pakistan parliament will have detrimental consequences for the country's largest religious minority, the government's top minority representatives have said.

State Minister for Interfaith Harmony and Minorities Affairs Akram Masih Gill pointed out that the Hindu community's protracted struggle to have their marriages accepted by the legal system remains unfulfilled, and added although a law to address the issue has been drafted, parliament remains silent on the issue.

"We both (Gill and Bhatti) conveyed our concerns to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani last month; Paul said the issue will be taken up with other lawmakers representing minorities to finalise the bill for marriage registration," The Express Tribune quoted Gill, as saying.

Adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Minorities' Affairs Dr Paul Bhatti expressed similar concern, especially over the destruction of minorities' places of worship.

He said the problem was very severe in Sindh and Punjab, where the population of minorities amounts to around eight million.

"It's time to introduce legislation to protect minorities' rights," he added.

Dr Bhatti also confirmed that the Christian community was also living in fear in the country after increasing incidents of forced conversions.

Gill also said that a meeting will be held by him and Dr Bhatti to discuss five to six departments which fall under the commission for legislation on minority affairs. (ANI)

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