Anjali Meghwar represents the most vulnerable group in Pakistani society, as she is belongs to one of the most marginalized Hindu groups in Pakistan. Furthermore, Pakistani women are treated as second class citizens, leaving women from minority groups such as Anjali an easy target for the various religiously motivated human rights violations. There are legal mechanisms in place to protect underage girls like Anjali, but the reality of the minority rights situation often creates obstacles for their utilization. Anjali’s mother and sister were prevented from reporting her abduction to the police, as they would not have been taken seriously by the police as minority women. This is just one of many cases that demonstrate the atrocities and lack of access to justice faced by minority groups in Pakistan.
On October 21 Kajal Bheel, a 12-year old Hindu girl from Sindh, Pakistan, was abducted, forcefully converted and married to one of her abductors. With the police refusing to start an investigation, insisting that there is no case to solve, and the court neglecting the birth certificate as the proof of age, Kajal faced a humiliating medical examination to prove she is a child. Even so, with the medical results proving she is 17, the court has chosen to apply Sharia Law, according to which a girl becomes a women when she hits puberty. Kajal’s family remains to prove that Kajal is a minor according to Hindu Family Law during the next hearing on December 4th. For the time being, Kajal has not been allowed to stay with her family, but rather taken by her abductor, where she suffers constant psychological abuse. Kajal Bheel is a prisoner of the system, which is supposed to protect little girls like her, but is instead robbing her of her childhood. Help us save Kajal and bring her back to her parents!
Minorities in Pakistan are not enjoying their full rights, and are facing many problems. Some of the major problems Hindus in Pakistan facing are: discrimination within the community, land grabbing, lack of education, lack of health facilities, water shortage, unemployment, low wages, child labor, child marriage, bonded labor, rape cases, forced conversion, the Blasphemy Act and demolition of temples.
GHRD organized 12 screening events of “Pakistan: A Defining Moment” in collaboration with various universities, students groups and volunteer groups. 100 postcards were written by the attendees to UN Special Rapporteur on religious freedom belief, asking for the betterment of minorities’ human rights situation in Pakistan.
Global Human Right Defence’s (GHRD) partners in Pakistan confirm that numerous cases of abductions, and forced conversions coupled with forced marriages have been recorded in Sindh. However, the majority of the cases are not being addresses in any way due to improper or lacking minority representation in the province. With no due process and legal integrity, abducted underage girls are sold into sexual slavery and prostitution, says Zohra Yusuf, the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).