Sindh Assembly bill against forced religious conversions is ray of hope for minorities

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Islamabad (Nov 29, 2016): An interesting situation occurred outside the Parliament House on Tuesday when the minority MNA belongs to ruling PMLN Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Siraj ul Haq come across each other. The informal dinteraction of both parliamentarians was covered by the media. On the occasion, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani congratulated the Sindh Assembly for passing the criminal law protection of minorities bill 2015 unanimously, declaring it a commendable initiative towards the protection of minorities rights. “The protest of Jamaat-e-Islami and other religious parties to oppose the ban on religious conversion before aduItage will lead to extremist ideologies in society,” he said. Dr Ramesh lauded the efforts of Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, MPA Nand Kumar, Chief Minister Assistant for Minority Affairs for the approval of bill.

Dr Ramesh Kumar said that Islam is a peaceful religion, and there is no compulsion in it. Just like for identity card, driving license, and to cast vote 18 years of age is required which is thought to be a sensible age, similarly for conversion of religion 18 years of age is imposed which is legally valid and If forced conversion of under age people happened to occur, it will be considered as a crime.

Dr Ramesh Kumar said that forced religious conversion incidents are increasing day to day and in such a situation the bill becomes a ray of hope for minorities living in Pakistan and that is the reason that every sensible person is supporting it, but some religious minorities protest against this bill is beyond understanding. On the occasion, Dr Ramesh also suggested Senator Siraj ul Haq to refrain from unnecessary protest against the bill for minorities rights.

He further added that because of the approval Pakistan has gained a soft image at international level and the label of being an extremist state has vanished to some extent. Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani expressed his commitment to present such a bill of rights of Minorities in the National Assembly so that a legislation could be made at national level.

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