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Forced conversion issue can create problems for Pakistan: Qibla Ayaz

The chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Prof: Dr. Qibla Ayaz while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Forced Conversion of minorities told that in the light of CII investigations we have found that the law enforcement agencies are backing the facilitators against the minorities in force conversion issues adding that the if the state didn’t take action will face problems on international forums.

The committee on the forced conversion meeting meets on Monday where the CII Chairman and Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari briefed the committee on the forced conversion issue in Pakistan.

The Committee deliberated on the interpretation of concept of Wali for non-Muslims in case of conversion and marriage. The matter of having an internationally accepted definition of forced conversions was also discussed and guidance from CII was also sought.

The Committee members appreciated the fact that the issue is being deliberated upon in depth and all stakeholders are recognizing the issue. The considered view of the committee was to take an administrative approach and see where the grey areas are. Seeing international best practices and proposed bills was also discussed.

The Committee decided to visit Sindh early next month to have a better view of on ground realities and carry out a fact based situation analysis.

The Chairman further told the committee that there are clear punishments for forced conversion both in constitution and in religion Islam and Justice Tasaduq Hussain Jilani verdict which mention that in case of marriage between Muslim male and Hindu female the law should work properly in this case. He added that Pir Ayub Jan Sarhindi and Mian Mitto names are surfacing on mainstream and social media that they are backing the forced conversion.

Minister for human rights Shireen while respo-nding to Chairman CII mentioned that she is not aware too much about the two persons but I know that both have a proper network who are involved in forced conversion issues in Sindh.

Dr. Qibla told the committee that forced conversion is not only a Pakistan issue but as well this is a social and international issue and if minorities are not safe in Pakistan definitely this will cost Pakistan on the international front adding that this issue is portraying a negative image of Pakistan.

The chairman of CII suggested to the committee that to dig this issue properly the committee should visit those places where the problems are reporting.

State Minister for Parliamentary affairs Ali Mohammad Khan told the committee the JUI-F Maulana Wasig didn’t not attend the committee and he should attend today’s meeting because then they create conspiracies against the government. He added that some people are portraying a negative image of Pakistan being a state that is involved in these affairs but individuals are involved in these cases on which the Human rights minister responded that whoever is involved in these cases state is responsible to protect minorities.

Dr: Ramesh Kumar told the committee that if the forced conversion issue was not addressed properly then we will remain stuck in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Senator Kheel Das told the committee that forced conversion is a genuine issue in Sindh but when we surface the issue then the neighboring country India promotes propaganda against Pakistan adding that the legislation is in process because the Governor Sindh still has not signed that legislation.