Free Press Journal

Pakistan’s Sindh govt to amend new bill on forced conversion


Karachi : Pakistan’s Sindh province will amend the recently-passed Minorities Bill which criminalises forced conversions in the Muslim-majority country, weeks after two hard-line Islamic parties opposed the law by claiming it was part of a conspiracy to make Pakistan a liberal and secular country. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmad Khuhro said the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, 2015, was sent to the governor for his assent and whether he gives his assent or not, in both the conditions it would be reviewed and amended by the assembly.

Khuhro, who is also the Sindh chapter president of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), said that according to religious teachings, religion could not be changed forcibly, therefore, no Muslim could think contrary to the teachings nor could legislate such a law, Dawn reported.

He said the marriage of a person aged below 18 years was already banned and there was no restriction of the age on change of religion, therefore, it should not be linked with the age of marriage as such this misunderstanding ought to be removed, the report said.

The Sindh Assembly last month adopted the bill against forced religious conversions and recommended a five-year jail term for perpetrators and facilitators of forced religious conversions will be handed a three-year sentence.