File photo of Pakistani legislator Nand Kumar Goklani, who tabled the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) bill in the Sindh assembly to prevent forced religious conversions.(Facebook)
File photo of Pakistani legislator Nand Kumar Goklani, who tabled the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) bill in the Sindh assembly to prevent forced religious conversions.(Facebook)

Pakistan’s Sindh passes bill to prevent forced conversions

Sindh on Thursday became the first Pakistani province to pass a law to prevent forced religious conversions, a move that will benefit Hindus and other religious minorities.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 24, 2016 03:54 PM IST

Sindh on Thursday became the first Pakistani province to pass a law to prevent forced religious conversions, a move that will benefit Hindus and other religious minorities.

The provincial assembly unanimously passed the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) bill that had been tabled by Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) legislator Nand Kumar Goklani a year ago.

The bill recommends a five-year prison term for perpetrators and facilitators of forced religious conversions, the Pakistani media reported. Forcibly converting a minor too is a punishable offense under the bill.

The bill had earlier been referred to the standing committee for minority and human rights for feedback. It was passed after the panel sent it back to the assembly.

“Forced conversion is an abhorrent and violent offence and an issue that has become prevalent across Sindh (that) must be eliminated by recognising the importance of tolerance, peace and respect for all religions and persons, irrespective of their religion,” the bill stated.

The bill focusses on recognising the right to freedom of religion for all people, the right to freedom of choice for marriage. According to it, no person can change his or her religion before attaining the age of maturity or 18 years. Adults will be given 21 days to consider their decision to convert.

Defining punishments for forced conversions, the bill stated that any person who forcibly converts another person can be sent to prison for five years to life. They will also have to pay a fine to the victims.

Anyone who performs or facilitates a marriage with the knowledge that either one or both parties are victims of forced conversion can be punished with a three-year prison term or a fine.

The bill stated that victims or any person authorised by a victim or an informer can submit a petition regarding forced conversions to a local court. “The court shall fix the first date of hearing, which shall not exceed seven days from the date of the receipt of the petition by the court,” the bill said, adding any case of forced conversion should be disposed of by the court in 90 days.

Sindh is home to a majority of Pakistan’s Hindus. Hindu leaders have repeatedly complained about the forced conversion and marriages of young women and girls of the community.

Nand Kumar Goklani, the legislator who tabled the bill, said, “Every other day, reports pouring in suggest that minor girls belonging to non-Muslim communities are forced to change their religions…This bill aims to end this inhumane practice.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Videogame retailer GameStop, which had closed up about 104% on Wednesday and was once again a favorite pick on the WallStreetBets page. (Reuters)
Videogame retailer GameStop, which had closed up about 104% on Wednesday and was once again a favorite pick on the WallStreetBets page. (Reuters)

Heavy trading in GameStop leads to hour-long outage for Reddit

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:36 AM IST
Reddit, now more famous for its day-trading forum where individual traders recently triggered a rally in many shorted stocks, has faced several outages in recent months.
Close
HHS has drastically cut its capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly all of the department’s 7,100 beds for immigrant children are full.(AFP Photo. Representative image)
HHS has drastically cut its capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly all of the department’s 7,100 beds for immigrant children are full.(AFP Photo. Representative image)

Amid surge, US tries to expedite release of migrant children

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:00 AM IST
US Health and Human Services on Wednesday authorized operators of long-term facilities to pay for some of the children’s flights and transportation to the homes of their sponsors.
Close
"In the end, Iran needs to understand that what’s important is to de-escalate and accept the offer of diplomacy that’s on the table, including from the United States,” German foreign minister Heiko Maas said.(AFP Photo)
"In the end, Iran needs to understand that what’s important is to de-escalate and accept the offer of diplomacy that’s on the table, including from the United States,” German foreign minister Heiko Maas said.(AFP Photo)

Germany urges Iran to accept diplomacy in nuclear dispute

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:12 AM IST
Iran this week effectively set a deadline to lift those sanctions within three months, after which it said it would erase surveillance footage of its nuclear facilities
Close
The B117 variant last week became dominant in Denmark, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all new infections, up from less than 5% at the beginning of the year.(Reuters Photo. Representative image)
The B117 variant last week became dominant in Denmark, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all new infections, up from less than 5% at the beginning of the year.(Reuters Photo. Representative image)

Hospitalisation risk 64% higher with UK Covid-19 variant: Report

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:08 AM IST
Out of 2,155 people infected with the variant codenamed B117 in the institute's study, 128 were hospitalised, a rate 64% higher than people infected with other variants, the country's Serum Institute said.
Close
DeJoy, a supporter of former President Donald Trump appointed to head the Postal Service last year, suspended operational changes in August after heavy criticism over postal delays.(Bloomberg)
DeJoy, a supporter of former President Donald Trump appointed to head the Postal Service last year, suspended operational changes in August after heavy criticism over postal delays.(Bloomberg)

Congress weighs reforms to troubled US Postal Service over finance woes

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:38 PM IST
"Our dire financial trajectory, operational and network misalignment to mail trends, outdated pricing, infrastructure underinvestment, inadequate people engagement, and an insufficient growth strategy – all demand immediate action," Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers.
Close
Officials said the EU was working with the IATA, the OECD and the World Health Organization.(AFP)
Officials said the EU was working with the IATA, the OECD and the World Health Organization.(AFP)

EU mulls vaccination passports to resurrect tourism after Covid-19

Reuters, Brussels
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:12 PM IST
However, France and Germany appear more reluctant, as officials there say it could create de facto vaccination obligation.
Close
Vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson. (AFP)
Vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson. (AFP)

J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine closes in on FDA’s nod

By Yashwant Raj
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:06 PM IST
According to papers submitted by Johnson & Johnson to the FDA seeking emergency use go-ahead, the vaccine has demonstrated an overall efficacy level of 66% - 72% in the United States and 57% in South Africa, a country that is dealing with a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus.
Close
Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi. (HT File)
Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi. (HT File)

PNB scam case: UK judge to rule on Nirav Modi extradition case on Thursday

Posted by Prashasti Singh | PTI
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:01 PM IST
The 49-year-old is expected to appear via videolink from Wandsworth Prison in south-west London at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where District Judge Samuel Goozee is set to hand down his judgment on whether the jeweller has a case to answer before the Indian courts.
Close
William Burns, nominee for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, is sworn into his Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.(REUTERS)
William Burns, nominee for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, is sworn into his Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.(REUTERS)

CIA nominee pledges to provide 'unvarnished' intelligence

PTI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:48 PM IST
William Burns said the president "wants the agency to give it to him straight, and I plan to do just that and to defend those who do the same."
Close
Rescue divers conduct search operations for victims of a capsized boat in Lake Mariout, 20 kilometres west of Egypt's second city of Alexandria on February 23, 2021.(AFP)
Rescue divers conduct search operations for victims of a capsized boat in Lake Mariout, 20 kilometres west of Egypt's second city of Alexandria on February 23, 2021.(AFP)

UN says 41 Europe-bound migrants fleeing Libya drown in Mediterranean

AP
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:09 PM IST
  • The UN migration and refugee agencies said in a joint statement that the dead were among at least 120 migrants on a dinghy that left Libya on February 18.
Close
At its last plenary in October 2020, FATF concluded that Pakistan had fully complied with 21 of 27 points in the action plan but warned the country that it could not be given “forever” to address outstanding issues. (FILE PHOTO).
At its last plenary in October 2020, FATF concluded that Pakistan had fully complied with 21 of 27 points in the action plan but warned the country that it could not be given “forever” to address outstanding issues. (FILE PHOTO).

FATF to take a call on Pakistan's efforts to counter terror financing tomorrow

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:06 PM IST
  • FATF’s latest plenary is also being held at a time when the US has been irked by the Pakistan Supreme Court’s acquittal of terrorist Omar Saeed Sheikh, the principal accused in the 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.
Close
Screengrab from “confessional” video of former Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan.(YouTube)
Screengrab from “confessional” video of former Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan.(YouTube)

Pakistan military personnel punished over escape of Taliban figure: Spokesperson

Reuters, Rawalpindi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:40 PM IST
Liaqat Ali, the former public face of the militant Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), escaped last year three years after he handed himself in to the military.
Close
Asylum seekers sit inside a tent at a migrant encampment in Matamoros, Mexico.(REUTERS)
Asylum seekers sit inside a tent at a migrant encampment in Matamoros, Mexico.(REUTERS)

US to admit asylum seekers from hard-hit camp at Texas border

Reuters, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:11 PM IST
The camp, across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, is home to hundreds of migrants, most from Central America, hoping to be granted refuge across the border.
Close
Zollfahndungsamt Hamburg shows a detail of cocaine after German authorities seized more than 16 tonnes of cocaine in the northern port city of Hamburg, Germany.(REUTERS)
Zollfahndungsamt Hamburg shows a detail of cocaine after German authorities seized more than 16 tonnes of cocaine in the northern port city of Hamburg, Germany.(REUTERS)

Over 23 tonnes of cocaine seized in Europe's biggest haul

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:04 PM IST
The two shipments together represented a street value of roughly $730 million, the Dutch prosecutors said.
Close
A 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry report said the prisoners are facing torture, rape, forced labour, starvation and other inhumane treatment.(AP)
A 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry report said the prisoners are facing torture, rape, forced labour, starvation and other inhumane treatment.(AP)

North Korea enslaving political prisoners to fund weapons programme: Report

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 08:54 PM IST
According to the report, Pyongyang had been operating a "pyramid fraud-like" scheme to force those held in prison camps to produce quotas of coal and other goods for export.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP