[DAWN] The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday, while hearing a petition filed by two Ghotki sisters who were allegedly forcibly converted from Hindusim and married to Moslem men, ordered the state to take over custody of the girls and ensure their safety till their case is decided.
The petition, filed by the girls and their spouses Safdar Ali and Barkat Ali, has sought protection from adverse action. It states that the girls left their home on March 20. On March 22, after announcing that they had willingly converted, 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.
They claimed that MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Hari Lal from the Hindu Council had concocted "a false and fabricated story" about their forceful conversion.
The petitioners subsequently left their native town of Ghotki in Sindh and travelled to Khanpur in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab. They travelled to Islamabad after learning that the inspector general of Sindh and Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....
were planning an operation in Khanpur against them and, the petition claimed, feared that the police may kill them if they are apprehended to show "progress" to the governing party.
They asked the court to restrain the respondent authorities ─ the state minister for interior, Sindh chief minister, inspectors general of Sindh, Punjab and Islamabad police, MNA Vankwani and the Pakistain Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) ─ from "harassing" and "threatening" them, as well as requesting that Pemra be asked to refrain from "promoting propaganda" against the petitioners.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition in Courtroom 1, where both girls and their alleged spouses were also present. Representatives of the federal government, Islamabad administration, and Sindh police, and the director general Human Rights were all present in court today.