Minor Hindu Girl Forcibly Converted To Islam, Married To 40-Year Old Man

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A 14-year-old Hindu girl in Chundiko, Sindh was kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam before being married to a 40-year-old man who allegedly abducted her. The alleged abductor, Mohammad Aachar Darejo, took a photo with her and the nikah-nama. The photo has been doing the rounds on social media where users have condemned the incident and called on the authorities to hold an inquiry.

In 2019 alone, more than 41 girls belonging to Hindu faith have been kidnapped and converted to Islam, by force. An estimated 4.5 million Hindus live in Pakistan, majority of them in Sindh.

Every year, thousands of Hindu and Christian girls and young women are kidnapped in Pakistan and forcibly married after being taken away from their families. And while these forced conversions have been going on for decades, a recent surge in reported cases has brought the issue back into the limelight.

Around 1,000 cases of Hindu and Christian girls being forced to convert were estimated in the province of southern Sindh alone in 2018, according to the annual report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Sindh is the only province in Pakistan where Child marriage is illegal. In 2014, the Provincial Assembly of Sindh unanimously passed ‘The Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act’, which raised the minimum legal age for marriage to 18 years for boys and girls. The act makes Marriage below 18 years a punishable offence but the implementation of the law still remains a hoax.