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Sindh Guv returns Minorities Bill against forced conversion

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Karachi : In a setback for Hindu and other minority religious communities in Pakistan, the Sindh Governor sent back to the provincial Assembly for reconsideration a recently-passed Minorities Bill which criminalises forced conversions in the Muslim-majority country, reports PTI.

The ailing Goveror, Justice (retd) Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, sent back Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill without ratifying it. “Please reconsider the legislation,” Siddiqui wrote to the Sindh Assembly Secretariat while returning the bill. The Governor, in his observations, said the Assembly needs to take note of the letters written by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), MQM parliamentary leader Sardar Ahmed, as well as the protest by religious parties, which either called for the bill’s withdrawal or proposed amendments to it.

Sindh Assembly Secretary GM Umer Farooq confirmed they had received the bill with the Governor’s message. “The Governor’s plea for reconsideration means he has asked for the bill’s withdrawal and for the introduction of a new law,” he said. Siddiqui who took oath as the Governor of Sindh on November 11 last year replacing Ishrat ul Ebad has been ailing since then and is under treatment and care at his official residence.