Inside Financial Markets
FO Spokesperson rejects allegations of forced conversions in Pakistan - Inside Financial Markets

FO Spokesperson rejects allegations of forced conversions in Pakistan

– Associated Press of Pakistan

Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chauhdri on Tuesday rejected the reported allegations of forced conversions in the country as “fictitious, politically motivated or based on mala fide intent of our detractors to malign Pakistan in the international community.”

“As per principles of Quran and Sunnah, there is no forced conversion in Islam,” the Foreign Office Spokesperson stated in response to queries from some media colleagues.

He said no institutionalized or consistent pattern of forced conversions existed in Pakistan.

“Most of the reported allegations, when investigated revealed that they were either fictitious, politically motivated or based on mala fide intent of our detractors to malign Pakistan in the international community,” he added.

He said that a case in hand were the disclosures of EU DisinfoLab regarding the disinformation spreading network being operated by the Indian intelligence agencies.

“There have been few incidents of forced conversions by individuals and non-state actors, but there is no evidence of complicity of any state institution. Whenever such case has been reported, all state institutions have taken swift action against the perpetrators,” he added.

In some instances, the Spokesperson said that the state became party to the case against the perpetrators in the court, in order to ensure speedy and effective justice.

He said, “Foundations of our State are firmly laid on the principles laid down by our Founding Father Quaid-e-Azam and appropriately reflected in our Constitution.”

“The Constitutional provisions are supplemented further by the legal and administrative framework to protect our minorities from any forced conversion,” he added.

The Spokesperson said, “Our Judiciary has been very vigilant and clear on the promotion and protection of the basic human rights of our minorities.”

“Moreover, our free media and civil society are acting as independent monitors against any incidence of violation of human right of any minority community and fostering a culture of accountability and transparency,” he added.

The Spokesperson said that minorities were equal citizens of Pakistan and were free to profess, practice, and propagate their religion.

“Contributions of minorities to our society are many and we are proud of them,” he added.

The Spokesperson said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for strengthening the framework for the protection and equal treatment of minorities in the country was reflective through his statements including his first address to the nation.

“Moreover, internationally, he has attained leadership role on the issue of freedom of religion or belief due to his clear and well-articulated stance on the matter,” he added.
He further said that the National Commission for Minorities had also been established which was fully functional and independent. “Moreover, our National Policy of Interfaith Harmony is in the final stages of adoption,” he added.

The Spokesperson said that the Government will continue to take legal, administrative as well as policy measures to prevent any violation of basic human rights of our minorities.

“Pakistan’s position on the US report on religious freedom and designation has been enunciated in MoFA’s press release dated 9 December 2020,” he maintained.

Syed Zaki Hussain

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