The Sindhi Foundation castigates the death of Pooja Kumari, an 18-year-old Sindhi Hindu woman who was murdered after resisting a kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam in Sindh, Pakistan. Pooja is the latest victim in a string of forced conversions of Sindhi Hindu and Christian girls taking place in Pakistan.
According to Sindhi media, Pooja’s neighbor forcibly made his way into her home accompanied by two other men with the intent to kidnap her. In response to her defiance, Pooja was lethally shot.
In Pakistan, it is common for young Hindu, Christian, and Sikh girls to be abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. Sindhi Hindu girls are especially targeted, such that a majority of Sindhi Hindu girls are converted. According to Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission, an estimated 1,000 girls are forcibly converted each year, though that number may be underreported due to government censorship. The perpetrators are able to conduct these atrocities with impunity, facing no consequences as these criminals allegedly maintain strong ties with the Pakistani government and military.
There have been a number of bills considered in the Sindh Provincial Assembly over the years, including a measure to protect religious minorities that was passed by the Sindh Provincial Assembly in 2016. It was, however, ultimately rejected due to resistance from religious parties. In addition, a bill to institute a uniform age for marriage across Pakistan would combat the ability for abductors to bring their victims across provincial lines where the marriage age is lower.
The Sindhi Foundation has been spreading awareness about cases like Pooja’s from its inception. Through social media, in-person events, and reports which can be found on the Sindhi Foundation’s website, the organization attempts to highlight these cases and speak out on behalf of all persecuted Sindhi people.