CNA Staff, Dec 3, 2020 / 19:01 pm
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered an investigation into the forced conversion of women and girls from the country's religious minorities, drawing praise from Christian aid groups.
International Christian Concern, a group that advocates for persecuted Christians, said Dec. 3 that many of the victims of forced marriages in Pakistan are minors, and that sexual assaults and fraudulent marriages are used by perpetrators to entrap victims, with authorities often complicit.
Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, the Pakistani Prime Minister's Special Representative on Religious Harmony, stated at a Nov. 30 joint press conference that Kahn had "ordered an investigation on a case-by-case basis of incidents of forced conversions of minor girls belonging to minority communities, particularly Christian and Hindu, to find reasons for this issue."
ICC cited a 2014 study by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, which found that an estimated 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are abducted, forcefully married, and forcefully converted in Pakistan every year.