Islamabad: The persecution of Hindu minorities in Pakistan continues unabated. Last week, a 22-year-old Hindu girl named Aarti Bai was abducted from Larkana in the Sindh province, forcibly converted to Islam and married off to a man. The members of the Hindu community protested outside the court after it declined to allow parents to meet their daughter.
As per the family of the victim, the girl went missing on April 3, after she left home for a beauty parlour located in Resham Gali where she is working. When she did not return home, her father suspected that his daughter might have been kidnapped and approached the police to rescue her. The family of the girl was worried about their whereabouts and stunned by her mysterious disappearance. Later, it came to be known that the girl was converted to Islam and married to her abductor.
Six days after the girl was kidnapped, a Karachi based journalist Veengas posted a video on Twitter that showed members of the Hindu community protesting for justice for the parents of the kidnapped girl. It was also reported that the local court did not allow parents to meet their daughter.
Hindus in Pakistan, especially girls, are leading a particularly vulnerable life in the country where forced conversion of Hindus into Islam has become a common norm. The Islamist fanatics routinely abduct Hindu girls, forcefully convert them into Islam before marrying them. Last month, on March 11, a 13-year-old Hindu girl named Kavita Oad from the Kandhkot area of Sindh was reportedly abducted and then forcibly converted to Islam. A couple of days later, her house was set on fire by unidentified miscreants.
In March 2021, a journalist in Pakistan was shot dead by unknown assailants for exposing the role of politicians and clerics in facilitating the forceful conversions of Hindu girls. In December 2020, a top US diplomat for religious freedom Samuel Brownback stated that Pakistan was marketing Hindu and Christian women as “concubines” and “forced brides” to China.
Even the courts fail to do justice for Hindus in Pakistan. In fact, in some cases, the courts have actively participated in the injustice meted out to the Hindu and Christian minorities. In June 2020, a district magistrate allowed a Muslim man to keep his Hindu wife even after the parents of the girl alleged that their daughter was kidnapped and forcibly married off to the man.