Lahore: Rwadari Tehreek Pakistan held a Protest Camp in front of Lahore Press Club on 8th March International Women's Day in collaboration with other civil society organizations to demand immediate and effective legislation to stop forced religious conversions and to express solidarity with the victims of forced conversions.
The Protest Camp was participated by scores of people belonging to different faiths and religions from Sindh, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Azad Kashmir who expressed concerns about the consistent incidents of abduction, forced conversion and forced marriages of the girls belonging to minority communities and chanted slogans on the negligence of the state machinery for their failure to protect minorities, especially the parliament, human rights and minorities affairs ministries, National Commission on Minorities and the judicial system which fails to provide timely justice in most of the cases.
Mr. Samson Salamat, Chairman Rwadari Tehreek while addressing the Protest Camp said that “forcing someone to change religion or enter into a marriage against free will is a grave violation of human rights. Unfortunately hundreds of girls belonging to religious minorities are being abducted, forcibly converted and then married off to their abductors every year. This is indeed an extremely serious problem being ignored by the state machinery, parliament, political parties and other stake-holders which increased nurtured the sense of insecurity among minorities”.
“This is a sad and unfortunate reality that the legislation for the protection of minorities is hardly being initiated and if someone dares to table any bill, it is being rejected- the moves to pass legislation to discourage and stop forced conversion and unsolicited marriages has already been struck down in Sindh Assembly and National Assembly in the past; and sadly the legislation has yet to be initiated in Punjab, KP and Baluchistan Provinces in this context. Today’s Protest Camp on International Women’s Day is yet another effort to urge the government, parliamentary parties and other state-holders to urge for immediate and effective legislation before it gets worst” Mr. Samson Salamat added.
The Protest Camp was also addressed by Vice-Chairman Rwadari Tehreek Mr. Deedar Ahmed Mirani, Senior Vice President Rwadari Tehreek Umme Kalosom, SpokesPerson Rana Irfan, Secretary General Umar Farooq, President Rwadari Tehreek KP Zafar Iqbal Khatak, President Rwadari Tehreek Sindh Punhal Sario, President Rwadari Tehreek Baluchistan Gohram Baloch and General Secretary Rwadari Tehreek Punjab Baba Larif Ansari, Wajahat Batool, Sabina Malik, Pastor Saleem Khokhar and other political, social and religious leaders.