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One more Hindu girl killed in Sindh as Hinduphobia grips Pakistan

The 18-year-old Hindu girl Pooja Kumari, who was brutally murdered by extremist Muslim youths as she resisted an abduction attempt in Rohri, Sindh province of Pakistan

An 18-year-old girl, Pooja Kumari, belonging to Hindu minority has been brutally murdered by extremist Muslim youths as she resisted an abduction attempt in Rohri, Sindh province  of Pakistan.

According to The Friday Times, Pooja was shot in the middle of the street after she put up resistance to the attackers in Rohri, Sukkur. Three persons came to her house on Monday to abduct and forcibly convert Pooja. They shot her dead when she put up resistance.

Sharing the picture of Pooja and her murderer, Pakistani journalist Naila Inayat wrote on Twitter:  “In the land of the pure where every day Hindu, Christian daughters are lost to abductions, forced conversions, marriages and Pakistan continues to be a bystander. Pooja Kumari Odh, an 18-year-old shot dead by Wahid Lashari while resisting abduction, conversion in Sukkur, Sindh”.

Sharing the video clip of the family of Pooja who are on protest demanding the arrest of accused, a human rights activist says in his post that, “A Hindu girl  Pooja Kumari killed while resisting abduction by Wahid Bux Lashari who wanted to forcefully covert her to Islam and marry. Whole mainstream media & social media influencers are silent. Culprit is still at large being influential. RT #JusticeForPoojaKumari.”

In his post, the senior leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)  writes that, “salute to the brave teenage Hindu girl Puja Kumari in Rohri Sindh who reportedly resisting abduction & forced conversion laid down her life. Would-be abductors & gangsters must be given exemplary punishment under the law. Posthumous gallantry award to Puja Kumari !”

Despite all calls to stop forced  conversions and marriages from the international community and human rights organisations, Pakistan's government has failed to ensure the safety of minority's girls and women in the country.

Citing a report by the  All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Pakistani Minorities, Qamae Rafiq, a journalist with Pakistan Daily Times says in his report that about  1,000 girls between the ages of 12-25 from minorities are forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan every year and married to their abductors, which described the situation as a “human-rights catastrophe”.

The Parliamentary report casts light on how the Pakistani government has failed to ensure the security and respect of women belonging to religious minorities.

“Pakistan doesn't have stronger legislation to prevent forced conversions and due to this these forced conversions go unabated. In November 2016, a bill against forced conversion was passed unanimously by the Sindh Provincial Assembly. However, the bill failed to make it into law as the Governor returned the bill under the pressure of the Islamist groups and parties,” says Qamar.

The Pakistani Prime minister Imran Khan has been saying  that forced conversions are 'un-Islamic' and are against the commands of Allah but has failed to make a law against forced conversions of minority communities in the country.

Last year, a parliamentary committee of Pakistan had rejected the anti-forced conversion bill after the Ministry of Religious Affairs opposed the proposed law while lawmakers from minority communities protested the decision.

Imran Khan’s  religious affairs minister reportedly said that the ‘environment is unfavourable’ for such a law, and implied it would generate resentment that would make minorities more vulnerable. The law minister also cautioned that the legislation would be ‘dangerous’, implying violent retaliation.

Also Read: Pakistan has failed miserably to protect Hindus, their temples