Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday ordered a probe into reports of abduction, forced conversion and underage marriages of two teenage Hindu girls in Sindh province and to take immediate steps for their recovery, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said.
The two girls, Raveena (13) and Reena (15), were allegedly kidnapped by a group of “influential” men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi. Soon after the kidnapping, a video went viral in which a cleric was purportedly shown soleminising the Nikah (marriage) of the two girls, triggering a nationwide outrage.
In a separate video, the minor girls can be seen saying that they accepted Islam of their own free will.
In a Twitter post in Urdu Sunday, Information Minister Chaudhry said that the Prime Minister has asked the Sindh chief minister to look into reports that the girls in question have been taken to Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab.
Chaudhry said the Prime Minister has also ordered the Sindh and Punjab governments to devise a joint action plan in light of the incident, and to take concrete steps to prevent such incidents from happening again.
“The minorities in Pakistan make up the white of our flag and all of our flag’s colours are precious to us. Protection of our flag is our duty,” he said.
Chaudhry Saturday said that the government had taken notice of reports of the forced conversion and underage marriages of the two girls.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi has directed IG Police Sindh to probe and submit report on abduction of two Hindu girls at the earliest.
In a tweet, he said, “Both the girls are citizens of Pakistan and it is our binding duty to protect them.”
The Hindu community in Pakistan has carried out massive demonstrations calling for strict action to be taken against those responsible, while reminding Prime Minister Khan of his promises to the minorities of the country.
Last year, Khan during his election campaign had said his party’s agenda was to uplift the various religious groups across Pakistan and said they would take effective measures to prevent forced marriages of Hindu girls.