Islamabad: Expressing concern over reports of
forced conversions, especially of Hindu women in the country, the ruling Pakistan People`s Party has called for legal reforms to tackle the issue.
The reconstituted Human Rights Cell of the PPP expressed
concern at the reported forced conversions during a meeting
chaired yesterday by its coordinator Nafisa Shah.
The meeting resolved that all efforts would be made within
the PPP for promoting the rights of minority communities.
"The Pakistan People`s Party has always been very
clear on rights of minorities and their protection, as
enshrined in the Constitution," said Shah, who is the party`s
central coordinator on human rights.
In a report sent to PPP`s leadership on forced
conversions, the Human Rights Cell recommended that there
should be legal reforms, especially in the standard operation
procedures of law enforcement agencies, to tackle the problem.
The law enforcement agencies "should ensure than any
runaway girls or those kidnapped should have neutral
institutional space where they are able to take decisions on
both issues of religion and marriage, free from any influence
or coercion," the Human Rights Cell said in a statement.
The Cell decided to visit "women crisis centres" and
report to the PPP on the state of women living at the
The Cell will also visit jails to meet prisoners, assess
the state of detention centres and propose necessary reforms,
the statement said.
The meeting of PPP`s Human Rights Cell was held against
the backdrop of the Supreme Court hearing of the case of two
Hindu women, who were allegedly kidnapped and forcibly
An apex court bench headed by the Chief Justice yesterday
directed authorities to keep the two women, Rinkle Kumari and
Lata Kumari, in a women`s home in Karachi for three weeks so
that they could decide about their future in an atmosphere
free from pressure.