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IHC allows Ghotki sisters to live with their husbands

News Desk |

In the light of inquiry the committee report, Islamabad High Court (IHC) has allowed two Ghotki sisters, newly converted to Islam from the Hindu religion, to stay with their husbands. A video surfaced online few days back, showing the teenagers’ father and brother claiming the girls were abducted and forcefully converted. However, girls denied that.

IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah took up for a hearing petition filed by two sisters seeking protection on Thursday. In their plea, the girls maintained that they belonged to a Hindu family of Ghotki, Sindh but converted willfully as they were impressed by Islamic teaching. The interim report of the inquiry committee was filed in the court.

During the hearing today, the interior secretary appeared and told the court a five-member judicial commission was constituted on the orders of the court to probe into allegations of forced conversion.

CJ remarked the court ran this case ahead keeping in view the rights of minorities. We are allowing the girls to stay with their husbands. The court allowed the girls to live with their husbands after hearing the case.

On April 9, members of the commission, minister for human rights Shireen Mazari and chairperson national commission for women rights, Khawar Mumtaz met these girls and their husbands separately. “This case did not seem to be forced conversion case but this has become part of the local culture of this area”, Mumtaz said.

Interior secretary said Sindh government also presented report and commissioner and DIG Sukkar assisted commission in this regard. “We called DCO of Rahim Yar Khan and compiled the report”.

On April 9 the medical reports of both these girls were received. According to these reports, the girls are adults. Asia is 18 years old while Nadia is 19 years old. This is not forced conversion of religion but it is according to the situation prevailing therein.

Read more: Medical report of Ghotki sisters determines their adulthood

CJ Athar Minallah remarked, “The minorities should not have any doubt that their rights are not secure. The members of the commission are revered people and we have trust in them. It has become clear that the girls are adults and no forced conversion was made. Dr. Ramesh Kumar is from the ruling party, He should raise this matter on a political forum.

CJ inquired from another member of the commission, IA Rehman, what his opinion was. IA Rehman told the court that the centers where the girls embrace Islam should be regularized. There is no law in place here in connection with the forced conversion.

CJ remarked, “We have full confidence in parliament. We cannot issue any directive to it. Parliament should hold a debate on such matters on its own. Member of commission Khawar Mumtaz told the court that this was a sensitive issue and we scrutinized it. The girls embraced Islam on their will for marriage.

Read more: Hindu girls’ controversy: love-marriage or forced conversion?

CJ remarked the court ran this case ahead keeping in view the rights of minorities. We are allowing the girls to stay with their husbands. The court allowed the girls to live with their husbands after hearing the case.

The article had input by Sana Mushtaq.