CHINGARI – Plight of Hindu girls in Pakistan

Addressing forced conversion of Hindu minorities to Islam in Pakistan. More than 20% in 1947, in 2017 Hindus were estimated to be around 2%, of Pakistan’s population, according to census data, with most of them living in Sindh Province.

CHINGARI - Plight of Hindu girls in Pakistan
CHINGARI - Plight of Hindu girls in Pakistan

ABC reports estimate that as many as 1,000 girls and young women may be forcibly converted each year, primarily from Pakistan’s Hindu community. Most of these cases are centred on the Dargah Bharchundi Sharif seminary, where Mian Abdul Haq, also known as Mian Mithoo, runs a ‘forced conversion factory’, as described by Daud Khattak. Radio Mashaal shows that the seminary does bear the hallmarks of a “conversion factory,” with girls and young women vanishing from their homes, marrying and converting virtually overnight, and kept away from their family — often by court order and with the backing of Mithoo.

The groups most affected by this issue are pre-adolescent Hindu, Sikh, and Christian girls. Many of these girls are violently abducted from their homes, forced to accept Islam and thrown into abusive marriages with older men, and finally blackmailed into giving a statement of consent over video. Fake documentation such as birth certificates is produced to falsely show they are consenting adults to the marriage and conversion. They are not allowed to see their families again and very few escape and live to tell their stories.

Child marriage, forced conversion, abduction, and sexual violence violate an individual’s human rights and eliminate any sense of control they may have over their own life and decisions. The effects of these horrific actions traumatize each victim, hindering their ability to foster positive relationships, pursue their goals, and live a fulfilling life. At INSIGHT UK, we imagine a world where every little girl, regardless of their faith, can live up to her full potential.