With the already existing tension between the two nations due to the Pulwama attack and the Indian air strikes in Balakot that followed after the attack, the abduction of Hindu girls and their forced marriage with Muslim men is further adding fuel to fire.
On 20th March, 2019, two minor Hindu sisters, named Reena (15) and Raveena (13) were abducted, from Sindh province of Pakistan and were forcibly converted to Islam after which they were married to Muslim men. Six armed men barged inside these minor sisters’ house, held the family hostage at gunpoint, and fled with the girls.
Shaman Lal, the brother of the two has filed an FIR. He has also asked the government and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan to look into the matter at the earliest and return the girls to the family safely. Fawad Chaudhry, Information and Broadcasting Minister, while addressing the media stated that the Prime Minister is aware of the incident and has ordered the authorities to take speedy actions to find the girls.
With a 200 million Muslim population, Pakistan is also a home to 3.6 million Hindus, majority of who reside in Sindh. Sourced state that till now, about seven Hindu girls have been abducted, and forcibly converted into Islam in the past five weeks.
Just when the issue of abduction of the two sisters was being resolved, another abduction took place on Monday, 25th March. The girl named Mala Kumari Meghwar aged 16, was abducted from Badin in Sindh province. Acting on this, Hari Ram Kishori Lal, Sindh minister for minority affairs has directed the police to register a case of abduction and take immediate measures to find the girl.
Taking note of all the incidents happening in Pakistan’s Sindh province, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj ridiculed the government via Twitter and tweeted ”justice demands that both these girls should be restored to their family immediately,” the union minister said on Twitter.” In her other tweet, she said, “Even the Prime Minister of Naya Pakistan will not believe that girls of such tender age can voluntarily decide about their conversion to another religion and marriage… The age of the girls is not disputed. Raveena is only 13 and Reena is 15-years-old”.
She has also asked for a detailed report on the abduction incident, from the Indian envoy at Pakistan. Responding to the Indian minister’s tweet, Fawad Chaudhry stated that it was the country’s ”internal issue”.
The Hindus in Pakistan have come down to protest against the abduction incidents taking place in order to seek justice from the government. Currently, the Pakistan police have arrested seven, suspected to be involved in the abduction. Sources state that the girls are believed to be in Punjab’s Rahim Yar Khan. Further investigation is ongoing.