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IHC forms five-member commission to probe Ghotki girls’ ‘conversion’ issue

IHC forms five-member commission to probe Ghotki girls’ ‘conversion’ issue
April 2, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Tuesday formed a five-member commission to probe the alleged conversion of two Hindu girls and marriage with Muslim youths in Ghotki. He also ordered that a medical board be constituted to determine the age of the girls. The board was asked to submit a report at the next hearing. Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari and Mufti Taqi Usmani will be part of the commission, while other members will be Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairperson Dr Mehdi Hasan, National Commission on the Status of Women Chairperson Khawar Mumtaz and veteran journalist and human rights activist IA Rehman. According to PIMS’ medical report, both girls are adults – Asia, 19, and Nadia, 18. Senator Krishna Kumari and MNA Ramesh Kumar were also present during the hearing. The petition, filed by the girls and the two men they were married to, had sought protection against possible adverse action by the government. It stated that the girls left their home on March 20. On March 22, after announcing that they had willingly embraced Islam, the girls sought legal help. According to the petition, the two girls were born in a Hindu family and converted because they were impressed by Islamic teachings. It claimed that they did not inform their family because of threats to their lives. On Monday, the girls' father had also filed a petition in the IHC, requesting the court to constitute a medical board "for determination of the exact age" of the two sisters. The petition also sought directions for the government to "conduct psychological test … to ascertain their mental capability/state of mind. On March 26, the IHC had ordered the state to take over custody of the girls and ensure their safety until their case is decided. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till April 11.