Protestors in Pakistan demand implementation of Child Marriage Restraint Act after two girls 'forcibly' married off, converted to Islam

File photo of Pakistan flag. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Karachi, Pakistan Mar 24, 2019, 08.55 PM (IST) Written By: Anas Mallick

Protestors in Pakistan on Sunday called for the implementation of the Child Marriage Restraint Act 2014 along-with an immediate recovery of the two Hindu girls who were 'forcibly' married off and converted to Islam in Pakistan's Sindh province recently.

The protest organised by Interfaith Harmony Peace Forum of Pakistan was attended by a large number of people. 

The duo aged thirteen and fifteen was abducted by six armed men from their house at Ghotki district in Sindh province on the eve of Holi as per the FIR lodged by the local police. 

The police, who refused to register an FIR in the case initially, obliged after the father of the two girls threatened to commit suicide. 

Speaking to WION, activist Seema Maheshwary said that they have gathered to demand the protection of all the minorities in Pakistan. 

Maheshwary said why two per cent minorities living in Pakistan, can not be given protection by the state.

Rights activist Huma Qureshi said they have gathered against the abduction and forced conversion of the two Hindu girls. She demanded that the government of Pakistan protect the minorities and implement Child Marriage Restraint Act to its fullest.

The family members of the victims of a similar heinous act in the past also attended the protest even as they await justice. 

Speaking to WION, grandmother of a Hindu girl who was abducted and forcefully converted said, "It was all on gunpoint, it’s been two months and still there is no progress". 

The girl was abducted from Tando AllahYar, a city in Sindh province.

Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday tweeted about the incident and sought a report from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The tweet sparked a war of tweets between a Pakistani minister and Swaraj. 

India has also sent an official note to Pakistan Foreign Office in which the government shared the concern over the incident and called for a suitable remedial action from the Pakistan government.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the chief minister of Punjab Usman Buzdar to ensure the safe recovery of the girls, following which, some arrests were made including that of the Imam who read out the Nikkah of the two girls.

The girls were taken to Rahim Yar Khan, a province of Sindh which has laws that criminalise child marriage under the age of 18, by their abductors in order to avert arrest.

Even 72 hours after the incident came to light, significant progress is yet to be made on the ground with regards to the recovery of the two sisters.