Pakistani human rights activists and people from the Indian community demonstrated outside the Pakistani High Commission in London on Monday. People have been protesting since Sunday in the Sindh province of Pakistan to protest against forcibly converting a teenager Mehak Kumari into Islam and marrying her off to a Muslim man.
A protester said, “We are demonstrating outside the Pakistani High Commission to protect the human rights of minority girls. Be it Christian, Sikh or Hindu. They are being kidnapped and forcibly converted to Muslims. 14-year-old Mehak Kumari was kidnapped and turned into a Muslim. We want a complete ban on Islamic conversion and especially the conversion of minorities.”
In the Jacobabad district of Sindh province, the minor girl was abducted by a middle-aged Ali Raza on 15 January. Mehak later said in a court of law that she was forcibly converted to Islam. The Islamic fundamentalists were shocked. They threatened to kill the girl, condemning her as an apostate.
The clerics turned so livid seeing the girl ‘turn hostile’ that they demanded the death penalty for the minor! They say the girl has insulted Islam. They have declared her a murtad (apostate in Islam).
Mehak then changed her statement in court. Before pronouncing the verdict, the court sent her for 11 days to Dar-ul-Aman in the Larkana district.
The Indian-origin people of Britain, under the auspices of the Lalkar Social Forum, are organising protest demonstrations against this incident for some days. The protesters include Mir Salim, the organiser of the International Friends of Sindh, who had come from Germany to participate in it.
“We are gathered here to demand justice for Mehak Kumari and send out a message that she is not alone in her fight. We cannot stay quiet about the way Pakistan is treating its minorities,” a protester had said on Monday, the second day of the protest.
The situation of minorities in Pakistan is very bad. They have to face persecution in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists the day they arrive. Intimidating tactics like damaging the houses and shops of Hindu families and kidnapping minor girls are commonplace in Pakistan. Post-abduction, these girls are forcibly converted to Islam.