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Abduction of girls from minority communities

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 22 (ANI): There is a long history of abduction of women from religious minority communities in Pakistan and minor girls continue to be victims of religious violence and persecution, according to a report.

The latest example is the daughter of Gurdwara Panja Sahib’s head granthi in Hassan Abdal city. Protests from the Sikh community in the national capital broke out on Monday outside the Pakistan High Commission in wake of the abduction of the Sikh girl.

The daughter of the head granthi went missing more than two weeks ago and she is reportedly being converted to Islam against her wish.

In a recent report, US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) noted that in Hindu, Christian, and Sikh communities, young women, often underage, continue to be kidnapped for forced conversion to Islam and that 1,000 women are forcibly converted to Islam each year.

The report further stated that local police are often accused of complicity in these cases by failing to investigate them properly. In the Sikh community itself, more than 55 such instances of abductions and forced conversions are said to have taken place in the past few months.

According to sources, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday had summoned a senior official of the Pakistan High Commission on the issue of the abduction of the Sikh girl in Pakistan.

“This has been going on for years where the Sikh community has been subjected to violence in Pakistan. Girls have been abducted and are subjected to forcible conversions. The whole country must be involved in this fight,” said MS Sirsa, Chief, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, told reporters in New Delhi.

In the recent past, minor girls belonging to families of Sikh Granthis are being abducted and forcibly converted to Islam.

This includes the abduction and forced conversion of Ms Jagjit Kaur, daughter of Granthi in Nankana Sahib last year and more recently the abduction of Ms Bulbaul Kaur, daughter of Granthi of Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib. The Sikh community is deeply anguished by these incidents and lodged its strong protest march against the growing instances of such incidents of abductions and forced conversion of minor girls in Pakistan. (ANI)

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