A highly respected Sindhi woman leader from the hometown of slain premier Benazir Bhutto would brief the American Congress on the slave-like status of Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian women Thursday.
Dr. Rubina Greenwood, who belongs to a family of scholars and intellectuals from Larkano, Sindh, and is a Briton now, will partake in the Congressional Briefing on Minority Women’s Rights in Pakistan. She will inform the congress of the daily abductions, forced conversions and rape in the garb of marriages of minority Hindu and Christian women in Pakistan.
The Washington DC based Hindu American Foundation has organized the briefing.
The status of Hindu and Christian women in Pakistan is like that of modern day slaves. These minorities are routinely hounded under the draconian blasphemy law that carries the death sentence.
Greenwood is chairwoman of the International Sindhi Women’s Organization (ISWO) and Vice-Chairwoman of the World Sindhi Congress (WSC).
Religious minorities in Pakistan, including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, and Ahmadi Muslims, face systematic violence, rampant discrimination, and widespread restrictions on religious freedom. Women of minority faiths, in particular, comprise the most vulnerable segment of Pakistani society, and their fundamental rights are violated with impunity.
Rinkle Kumari, a 19 year old Hindu girl, was kidnapped on February 24 by Islamic fundamentalists, raped, converted under duress, and forcibly married to one of her rapists. Police refused to lodge an adequate investigation into Pakistan People’s Party official Mian Mithu, who was suspected of orchestrating the abduction.
In August 2012, Rimsha Masih, a 14-year old Christian girl reportedly with a severe learning disability, was charged under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws for allegedly ripping pages out of a book containing sacred scripture verses. Although the judge has shown her leniency by trying her as a juvenile, the prosecutor continues his quest to tried as an adult; claiming that if she is not punished, the “people will be forced to take the law into their own hands.” Reports have now surfaced that Rimsha was falsely accused of committing blasphemy by a local cleric.
Pakistan is officially an “Islamic republic,” which means only a Muslim can become the head of state or government.
Immediately after the 1947 Partition Holocaust, Pakistan had 15 percent minority population but those numbers have dwindled to just three percent because of a state sponsored reign of terror against Hindus, Christains and other minorites.
Prior to partition, when Hindus merchants and civil servants controlled Karachi, the city was called the Paris of the East. In those days Karachi even had a Jewish member of the city council.
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Time: 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: U.S. Capitol Building Room HC-5
The other panelists are:
Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation
Samir Kalra, Esq., Director and Senior Fellow for Human Rights, Hindu American Foundation
Kavita Tekchandani, Esq., Attorney and Human Rights Activist
Knox Thames, Director of Policy and Research, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)
Courtesy: The Examiner