JuD chief Hafiz Saeed on Monday announced launching a movement against the passage of a bill that stopped forced religious conversions in Pakistan’s Sindh province, saying that the law is anti-Islam and against the Constitution. The Sindh Assembly had recently adopted the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, 2015, against forced religious conversions and recommended a five-year jail term for perpetrators and facilitators of forced religious conversions will be handed a three-year sentence.
Under the newly passed bill, forcibly converting a minor is also a punishable offence. Adults will be given 21 days to consider their decision to convert. According to the South Asia Partnership-Pakistan (SAP-PK), at least 1,000 girls mostly Hindus are forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan every year. Saeed said in a statement that the new law is against Islam and Pakistani Constitution.
“We will take other political and religious organisations on board in our movement against this anti-Islam law,” he said. “We will not remain silent on this controversial law and launch a countrywide movement to force the Sindh government to withdraw this anti-Islam law,” the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attack further said. He said India always tried that Hindus residing in Sindh could be used against Pakistan but it could not succeed.
The Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs had also termed forced conversions “illegal and against the principles of Islam”. Cases of forced conversions have regularly been reported from different parts of Sindh including Jacobabad, Tharparkar, Mithi, Umerkot, Kashmore, Kandhkot, Ghotki, Sukkur and Larkana.