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Pakistan: Stop the kidnapping, forced religious conversion and forced 'marriage' of women!

April 20, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On April 17, the Sindh Progressive Committee (SPC), which brings togetther activists from the Labour Party Pakistan, Workers Party, Communist Party, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, National Party, Awami Party and Watan Dost Inquilaabi Party, held a rally outside the Hyderabad Press Club (photo above by Irfan Ali/Express Tribune) protesting against the kidnapping, forced conversion and forced marriage of young Hindu women.

The rally was violently attacked by thugs belonging to the Sunni Tehreek party. Police intervened on the side the aggressors and detained 22 SPC activists who have since been released but are still facing charges being pressed by the Sunni Tehreek.

Pakistani mainstream press reports: http://tribune.com.pk/story/366193/forced-conversions-as-leftists-protest-st-takes-offence/

http://dawn.com/2012/04/18/escalation-of-clash-between-rallies-averted

Below is a statement from Pakistani progressive organisations.

Joint statement of Pakistani Progressives in solidarity with victims of forced conversion to Islam and against Sunni Tehreek's attack on Sindh Progressive Committee's rally

April 19, 2012 -- We, progressive organisations from all over Pakistan and Kashmir, jointly resolve to:

  • Condemn the barbaric acts of kidnapping, forced conversion and "marriage" to strangers of Sindhi Hindu young women by powerful vested interests in connivance with so-called "religious" elements, whose heinous crimes bring shame to all Sindhis as well as to all Pakistani citizens.
  • Stand in solidarity with Rinkle Kumari, Asha Kumari and other kidnapped young women, who have been forced to suffer the ultimate humiliation for the venality of the corrupt elite that rules Pakistan.
  • Condemn the connivance of the state and the ruling oligarchy of coalition partners in these shameful, predatory attacks on a small and vulnerable minority.
  • Demand that all kidnapped young women be recovered and allowed of their free will to re-join their families.
  • Demand the arrest of all the criminals involved in this vicious, disruptive campaign of hate and expropriation.
  • Demand that an FIR [first incident report, recommended charges] for armed attack be registered against the goons of the Sunni Tehreek who charged the rally of the Sindh Progressive Committee (SPC) in Hyderabad with batons and pelted the female participants with stones.
  • Demand the immediate suspension of the SHO of the Madadgar 15 Thandi Sarak police station in Hyderabad for unlawfully detaining 22 members of the Sindh Progressive Committee, even though it was they who were attacked by the Sunni Tehreek goons.
  • Demand an immediate withdrawal of the fabricated FIR registered against the activists of Sindh Progressive Committee.
  • Thank all those citizens who sent messages of support to the jailed SPC activists and who helped negotiate their release.
  • Continue our struggle against religious extremism and state terrorism and for a more inclusive and diverse society.

Signatures

Abid Hasan Minto, president Workers Party Pakistan

Jamil Umer, general secretary Awami Party Pakistan

Younas Rahu, general secretary Labour Party Pakistan

Imdad Qazi, general secretary Communist Party Pakistan

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