Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has described the practice of forced conversions as un-Islamic and said that those who do so are unaware of the history of Islam.
Addressing an event on the occasion of National Minority Day here on Monday, Khan invoked Prophet Mohammed saying he gave religious freedom to minorities and protected their places of worship "because the Quran orders that there be no compulsion in religion".
"How can we then take it into our own hands to forcefully convert someone to Islam -- either by marrying (non-Muslim) women or on gunpoint or to (by threatening to) kill someone because of their religion?" The Dawn quoted him as saying. "All these things are un-Islamic. If God had not given his messengers the power to impose their beliefs on someone, who are we (to do so)?" he asked. The cricketer-turned-politician asserted that there was no precedent in Islamic history for forcefully converting others.
Khan's comments came after Pakistan's independent human rights watchdog in April had raised concerns over the increasing incidents of forced conversions and marriages of Hindu and Christian girls to Muslim men every year. In its annual report, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that the government has done little to stop forced marriages and urged the lawmakers to pass effective legislations to end the practice.
Khan reiterated his commitment to building Pakistan based on the model of 'State of Madina', where citizens are entrusted with rights and provision of facilities without any discrimination, according to Radio Pakistan. He also said that his government is committed to operationalising the Kartarpur corridor on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.