Pakistan is a Muslim-majority country with 80% of the population following Islam. Reports show many Hindu Pakistani girls are forced into Muslim marriages
Around 1,000 girls from minority religious groups in Pakistan are forced to convert to Islam every year, local Pakistani human rights group South Asia Partnership-Pakistan reports.
USA Today reports: â€œLegislation banning such conversions for those under age 18 was passed unanimously late last year by the legislature of the southern province of Sindh â€¦ but it never went into effect.â€
The measure, which called for up to five years in jail for those who forced a conversion, was objected by Islamic groups. â€œThey threatened protests, arguing the law was anti-Islamic and part of a conspiracy to make Pakistan a secular country,â€ USA Today writes.
The report also quotes Hafiz Saeed, a leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (a self-described charity that the United States has labeled a terrorist group): â€œWe will not remain silent on this controversial law.â€
This legislative measure was later vetoed in January by Sindh Governer Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui. According to activists, this defeat was a major hindrance for human rights in Pakistan.
The report also recounts two instances where girls were abducted and police refused to help their families. In one narrative, fourteen-year-old Ameri Kashi Kohli was abducted by her landlord and forced to marry him to become his second wife.