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Abducted Hindu girls in Pakistan: Sushma Swaraj says 'restore them to their families immediately'

File photo of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Photograph:( PTI )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 26, 2019, 10.47 AM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that the Hindu girls who were abducted last week in Pakistan's southern Sindh province should be returned immediately to their families. She added that they are minors and therefore cannot decide if they can convert to another religion or not.

"Forced conversion of Hindu girls in Pakistan: The age of the girls is not disputed... Justice demands that both these girls should be restored to their family immediately," Swaraj said on Twitter. 

Taking a dig at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Swaraj added, "Even the Prime Minister on 'Naya Pakistan' will not believe that girls of this tender age can voluntarily decide about their conversion to another religion and marriage".

Swaraj and Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry sparred publicly over the abduction of the girls with the former asking the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad to send a report on the abduction, thereby drawing an angry response from Chaudhry.

Responding to the Pak minister's comment on the situation of minorities in India, Swaraj said, "I only asked for a report from Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad about the kidnapping and forced conversion of two minor Hindu girls to Islam."

"This was enough to make you jittery. This only shows your guilty conscience," she added. 

On Sunday, New Delhi sent an official note to Pakistan's Foreign Office over the abduction of the two Hindu girls in Sindh province and shared its concern with Pakistan. 

Sources told WION, India called on Pak government to "protect and promote safety, security and welfare of its own citizens, especially from the minority communities."

Sindh in southern Pakistan has a higher percentage of Hindus than the rest of the country. Three districts, Mirpurkhas (33% Hindus), Tharparkar (36% Hindus) and Umerkot (49% Hindus), contribute to the significant Hindu community in Sindh and these are the districts where most underage Hindu girls were reportedly forced to convert and were married off.

In the past also New Delhi has taken up cases of intimidation of Sikhs, Hindus, as also the desecration of their places of worship with the Pakistan government.

Story highlights

'Forced conversion of Hindu girls in Pakistan: The age of the girls is not disputed... Justice demands that both these girls should be restored to their family immediately,' Swaraj said on Twitter.