28 C
Lahore
Monday, May 23, 2022
EditorialJustice for Pooja

Justice for Pooja

Another minority citizen has become a victim of hypocrisy and barbarity existing in our society. This time, Pooja Kumari, an 18-year old Hindu girl was allegedly shot dead in Rohri, Sukkur while resisting an abduction bid by Wahid Bux Lashari who wanted to forcefully convert her to his own religion. According to the latest reports, the main suspect was arrested and confessed to the murder. The outrageous and shocking death of an innocent young girl depicts the sorry state of affairs regarding such killings due to forced conversions. Media reports say that every year, at least 1000 girls are abducted, forced to change their religion and married off in this country and there seem to be no measures taken to save them from this criminal practice. A spike in reported cases of forced conversions has put a question mark on the religious freedom of minorities. In some areas, minorities sometimes feel insecure, and this is the result of ‘discriminatory’ policies and society towards them. There are some examples of injustice that are committed against the members of minority communities almost on a daily basis. Successive governments do not seem to care about the challenges the minorities have been facing for many years. They do not have equal rights, are often subjected to injustice, and come under attack on the pretext of mere allegations. Forced conversion of girls belonging to minorities has become a common practice in the interior Sindh and some areas of Punjab. The persecution of minorities at the hands of extremists has been going on for years, but not much has changed despite promises as there is a glaring absence of tangible steps to end this injustice.

How a country that was established because of the fear that Muslims’ minority status in India would disadvantage them turned into a country in which its minorities do not feel safe is both an ironic and an extremely unfortunate commentary on the bigotry that has taken roots in this country. Voices must be raised to force the government to give equal rights to minorities in all spheres of life. These minorities need to be strengthened so that they can live their lives without fear. Their status is in fact a metric for the success of the state, and that metric is in dire need of improvement. Meanwhile, it is the minorities that are suffering, and Pakistan would be evading its responsibility to its citizens by remaining apathetic towards that suffering. Justice and inclusivity are the pillars on which successful states are built and it is time for Pakistan to strengthen those pillars. All authorities concerned particularly the Sindh government needs to ensure speedy justice for the grieving family and award exemplary punishment to the culprit. Unless the government takes stern action against the killer of Pooja Kumari, there would be no end to such killings.

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