Pakistani teenage Hindu girls 'forced to convert to Islam'

Pakistani teenage Hindu girls 'forced to convert to Islam'
The girls, Raveena, 14, and her sister Reena, 16, were snatched last week from Daharki, in central Pakistan.
2 min read
25 March, 2019
Pakistan's Hindu minority say they face oppression and discrimination [AFP]
Pakistan’s prime minister has ordered the rescue of two teenage Hindu girls allegedly kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam, according to local press.

The case has caused outrage in Pakistan's arch-rival and neighbour Pakistan.

The case came to attention on Sunday when India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she had asked the country's envoy to Islamabad to send a report on the allegations.

Pakistani police said they had registered a complaint of kidnapping and robbery by the teenagers' parents and that arrests could be made on Monday, according to Reuters.

The girls, Raveena, 14, and her sister Reena, 16, were snatched last week from Daharki, in central Pakistan. 

Pakistan's Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the country was "totally behind the girls", but asked Hindu-majority India to look after its own minority Muslims.

"Madam Minister, I am happy that in the Indian administration we have people who care for minority rights in other countries," Chaudhry replied to Swaraj's tweet.

"I sincerely hope that your conscience will allow you to stand up for minorities at home as well. Gujarat and Jammu must weigh heavily on your soul."

This is the latest in signs that tensions are easing between the two rivals. The two countries announced recently their diplomats would return to New Delhi and Islamabad, after they were recalled due to flared tensions.

In-depth: Women hit worst by Kashmir's continuing conflict

A 14 February suicide attack on a convoy of Indian paramilitary soldiers in the Indian-held portion of Kashmir killed 40 soldiers. India blamed the attack on a Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and launched a retaliatory air raid inside Pakistan.

Islamabad responded by shooting down two Indian warplanes and capturing a pilot, who was later returned to India as a peace gesture. India said it lost only one aircraft.

Since then, the two sides have exercised restraint amid calls from the international community to avoid war.

Pakistan says it has arrested 44 people, including the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar who was apparently named in a dossier given to Islamabad by New Delhi.

Kashmir is the site of a decades-long conflict between India and Pakistan in which both nations claim the region but control only parts. Guerilla groups have fought against Indian rule in the Indian administered Kashmir for the past thirty years.

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