Pakistan represents one of the worst situations in the world for religious freedoms. It is a big jail for Baloch as a national minority and for Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis as religious minorities.
Enforced disappearance of Baloch women and kids is taking place in France-sized Balochistan as I speak before you. Last year alone 70 women and 35 minors were disappeared there. Forced conversion of Hindu and Christian girls and young women into Islam and marriage, often through bonded labor, remains a systemic problem, according to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Being Baloch and woman, being Hindu and woman and being Christian and woman, is a double whammy in Pakistan.
Three years back after ISIS fighters took control of Yazidi villages in the Sanjar region of Iraq, they subjected their women to sexual slavery that shook the world's conscience. According to Kachkol Ali Advocate, a former leader of the opposition in Balochistan assembly and former fisheries minister who now lives in exile in Oslo, Norway, Pakistan army is treating the Baloch women and kids the same way the ISI treated the Yezidi women and kids in Sanjar region. Kachkol Ali and others insists that circumstantial evidence shows Baloch women and kids are being subject to sexual slavery by Pakistan soldiers. This is a frightening situation as Pakistan peacekeeping soldiers rape of Haiti minor boy is well documented in the UN systems. Pakistan providing soldiers for UN peacekeeping missions is in itself a huge international racket.
Last year alone Pakistan security services abducted 70 Baloch women and 35 kids, whose fate is unknown. On the other hand, as many as 1,000 Hindu and Christian women are forcibly converted in Pakistan each year.
Muslim men in Pakistan, abduct, convert, marry and rape minor Hindu and Christian girls, thinking sex with them will increase their sexual stamina and prowess. Pakistan law prohibits marriage of any girl under 18.
Quote There are some politicians and religious leaders who go about kidnapping young minority women and use them for sexual pleasure Unquote says Dr Nazir S. Bhatti, president of the Pakistan Christian Congress, who will speak today as well. "After using these girls, they are then sold in the prostitution underworld. This is a full-scale sex slavery business," says Dr Bhatti alleges.
According to the Associated Press of Pakistan, the government registered 1,261 cases of kidnapping of women and girls, many of them minors, for forced marriage in 2014. Ravi Dawani, general secretary of the All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat says as many as 99 per cent of Hindu girls who are converted to Islam and forcibly married are under 13 years of age. Dawani points out at the rapidity with which Hindu girls are married and converted, within 24 hours of their abduction. He asks why was it necessary for a Hindu female to become a wife at the time of her conversion, wondering why can't she become a sister? In majority of the cases, nothing is known about the fate of the minor girls once they are taken away from their parents and married off under duress.
In most cases, Hindus And Christians have no door to knock for justice as Pakistani judges side with the rapist kidnappers. According to Hindu rights activist Shanker Meghwar ten-year-old Jeevani Baghri was abducted February 12, 2014 from Ghotki and 13 months later on March 11, 2015 the judge of the local sessions court handed her over to the kidnappers on the ground that she has converted to Islam and could not go back to her parents. Meghwar said under the Child Marriage Restraint Act, the age for the marriage of a girl is fixed at 18 years and any person contracting a marriage with a girl under the age of 18 commits an offence, but in the case of Hindu girls the law is silent and so are all human rights activists.
"Where should the Hindus go?" Meghwar asks in a Facebook posting. "We don't know which door to knock; we don't know before who to cry." In seldom cases, a court may pass a verdict in favour of the parents, but those orders go unimplemented. Bhagwan Das, member of National Assembly, told Al Jazeera news. "Unfortunately, the frequency of these crimes is increasing due to religious extremism."
Dr Bhatti, himself a Punjabi, says Punjab, the stronghold of the army, is one of the most dangerous places in the world for Christians, including their females. He adds more than 99 per cent of rape and forced marriage cases, involving Christian females, go unreported in Pakistan. In one case of rape and abduction of a 12 year old Christian girl in Lahore, the militant organisation Lashkar-i-Taiba or "Army of the Pure," whose main target is India, produced a nikahnama or marriage certificate, claiming that the minor girl was married to one of their members, according to the Christian Freedom International.
PCC's Bhatti said these hapless girls are threatened that since they have recited the kalima, Muslim declaration of believe in Allah and Muhammad, and embraced Islam now if they dare say they are Christians they will be killed for blasphemy and apostasy.
Forced marriage is being used in Pakistan as an instrument of arbitrary Islamic state power over minority girls. "It is a form of violence that wants to reiterate the submission to Muslims. The rest of society is not outraged because the victims mostly belong to religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable," says Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill.
In March 2015, a USCIRF delegation made its first ever Commissioner-level visit to Pakistan. Tragically, suicide bombers affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban attacked two churches in Lahore the day the USCIRF delegation departed Pakistan. In suicide bombings, whether its Pakistan or Afghanistan, you can feel the dirty fingers of Pakistan’s Deep State.
On September 9, last year, Aarti Kumari Sharma, a school teacher was abducted from her home by armed men in front of her father, uncle and brother. After passage of six months, no court hearing has been heard.
Asia Bibi, a Christian woman of five convicted of blasphemy in 2010-- after a petty dispute with Muslim co-workers, over drinking water from the same glass--until her appeal could be heard. She remains imprisoned, is in poor health, and in October 2015 was put into isolation due to concerns for her safety.