Sindh Governor Justice (retd) Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui has refused to ratify the forced controversial bill, following strident protests by various groups. The bill was unanimously adopted by the Sindh Assembly recently against forced conversions. “Please reconsider the legislation,” the Express Tribune quoted Siddiqui, as saying in his message to the Assembly Secretariat.
The governor, in his observations, cited the letters written by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), MQM parliamentary leader Sardar Ahmed, as well as the protest by religious parties, who had called for the bill’s withdrawal or proposed amendments to it.
“Today, we have received the bill with the governor’s message. The governor’s plea for reconsideration means he has asked for the bill’s withdrawal and for the introduction of a new law,” said Sindh Assembly Secretary GM Umer Farooq.
He said that the bill will be presented at the upcoming session of the Assembly as it has Governor’s message appended to it and the house will decide to accept it or not. The bill which was jointly moved by the ruling PPP and the PML-F lawmakers recommended that change of religion not be recognised until a person becomes 18 years old and severe penalties for forced conversion of religion.