Islamabad: A war of words broke out Sunday between Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry over the reported abduction, forced conversion and underage marriages of two teenage Hindu girls in Sindh province.
The spat started soon after Swaraj sought details from the Indian envoy in Pakistan into the reported abduction of two Hindu teenage girls. Swaraj, while tagging a media report about the incident, tweeted that she has asked the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to send a report on the matter. Chaudhry responded to her tweet, stating it was his country’s ‘internal issue’.
Replying to Chaudhry’s tweet, Swaraj said, “Mr Minister, I only asked for a report from Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad about the kidnapping and forced conversion of two minor Hindu girls to Islam. This was enough to make you jittery. This only shows your guilty conscience.”
This prompted Chaudhry to respond again. “Madam Minister I am happy that in the Indian administration we have people who care for minority rights in other countries. I sincerely hope that your conscience will allow you to stand up for minorities at home as well. Gujarat and Jammu must weigh heavily on your soul,” the Pakistani minister tweeted.
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.
The Hindu community in Pakistan has carried out massive demonstrations calling for strict action to be taken against those responsible, while reminding Prime Minister Imran Khan of his promises to the minorities of the country.