May 9, 2012
Vaishakh Krushna Chaturthi, Kaliyug Varsha 5114
NEW DELHI: As incidents of alleged persecution and intimidation of Hindus in Pakistan rise, India on Wednesday appealed to Islamabad to take all possible steps to protect the constitutional rights of its minorities by ensuring their safety and security. Recently, in separate incidents, three Hindu girls in Sindh province have reportedly been abducted and married against their wishes to Muslim men after being forcefully converted to Islam.
Foreign minister SM Krishna said in Lok Sabha this is a matter of concern and is being taken up appropriately with the Pakistani government. “It is the responsibility of the Pakistani government to discharge its constitutional obligations towards its citizens, including those from the minority community,” said Krishna.
He was responding to the issue of treatment of minorities in Pakistan raised by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi last week.
Krishna said India had taken up “appropriately” with the Pakistani authorities on abduction, forceful marriage and conversion to Islam of three Hindu girls in Sindh province.
“The Pakistani government stated that it was fully cognizant of the situation and looked after the welfare of all its citizens, particularly the minority community,” he said.
Krishna also referred to press release issued by the Pakistani government stating that the Pakistani President had taken note of the reports of kidnapping of a Hindu girl from Mirpur Mathelo in Sindh and allegedly being forced to convert by some influential people of the area.
Krishna pointed out that the Simla Agreement of 1972 between India and Pakistan specifically provides for non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
Source: The Times of India