Noorul Haq Qadri, a minister in the Government of Pakistan, has said that the matter of changing religion is related to the will of the person. This is the reason why he has opposed the proposed ban on converting religion before the age of 18.
Minister Noorul Haq Qadri with Imran Khan (File Photo- Facebook)
Noorul Haq Qadri, Minister of Religious Affairs in Imran Khan’s government, opposed the proposed ban on converting religion before the age of 18. Qadri, a member of Parliament’s Parliamentary Committee on the Rights of Minorities, said that converting religion before the age of 18 is a matter of individual’s will. There can be no restriction of any kind on this. Actually, these statements of the minister are controversial because in Pakistan, girls under the age of 18 years of Hindu, Sikh and Christian minority communities are forcibly converted.
During a meeting of the committee, the minister of religious affairs said, we do not support the ban on conversion before the age of 18. There are many examples of conversion in Islam before the age of 18. He said that conversion of religion before 18 years is a matter of choice and no restriction can be imposed on it. If a 14-year-old wants to convert to any other religion, he cannot be stopped. But the minister agreed that the issue of marriageable age could be controlled through laws and consultation with the Council of Islamic Ideology.
Case of forced conversion should be investigated
The issue of conversion has been in the headlines for many years in Sindh province, which has a large Hindu population and such cases come up frequently. Qadri supported the investigation into the cases of forced conversion and said that if anyone was forcibly converting in Sindh, it would be investigated. At the same time, when the minister was questioned that there is a spiritual leader named Pir Mian Mithu of Bharchundi Sharif in Sindh, who converts minor girls. To this the minister said, Mian Mithu should be called by the committee and he should be informed that what he is doing is harming Islam and Pakistan.
Hindu MP raised the issue of conversion in Balochistan
To highlight the issue of conversion, minority MP Danesh Kumar told the committee that a religious leader in the Dalbandin area of Balochistan is encouraging conversions. The MP claimed that the leaders were luring people acting like local sanitation workers that if they converted to Islam, they would not have to sweep.
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