Sindh Plans to Tackle Unending Religious Persecution

KARACHI: With Hindu families reportedly continuing to migrate from northern districts of Sindh, the provincial authorities have finally decided to tackle unending religious persecution as is envisaged under the National Action Plan, it emerged here on Saturday.

Officials in the Sindh government said the authorities had decided to take up certain acts in the coming sessions of the provincial legislature as the foremost step as part of the NAP, which asked Islamabad and all the provinces and regions to show zero tolerance against religious persecution.

“There are certain drafts completed by the government and partner non-governmental organisations vis-a-vis forced conversions, minorities commission and the Hindu Marriage Act, which are expected to be tabled in the Sindh Assembly in its coming sessions,” said a senior official in the provincial government.

He said the provincial government had discussed the issue of persecution of religious minorities with the National Counterterrorism Authority and other relevant institutions of the federal government and decided to go in line with the NAP agenda as rigorously as it needed.

Sources said the proposed Forced Conversions Act, Hindu Marriage Bill and Minorities Commission Bill had been vetted by the provincial law ministry and approved to be tabled in the assembly.

As the reports of Hindu families migrating in droves to India and elsewhere because of increasing insecurity and forced conversions of Hindu girls continue, the authorities in Islamabad asked the provincial government to work on this part of the NAP agenda seriously.

Rights activists said some Hindu 25 families had left their ancestral Jacobabad and Thul homes and gone to India last month.

“Though it is not the only reason for their migration from Sindh, forced conversion still constitutes a hefty cause of all this,” said Shahnaz Sheedi, provincial coordinator for the South Asia Partnership Pakistan.

She said all minorities were facing insecurity as they were being persecuted by extremists across the country.

Officials said the authorities were meeting representatives of the minority communities, and such meetings were recently held with representatives of the Bohra and Ismaili communities who had suffered militant assaults in recent months.

Ravi Dawani, a community leader, said school curriculum was littered with hate content, which should be removed from the textbooks. He referred to 144 hate citations in various textbooks published by the government.

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