In a recent Sindh Assembly session, PPP lawmakers turned down a bill against forced conversions for the second time
This highly contradicts PPP’s claims of being advocates for minorities’ rights, something that they consider themselves to be “champions” of. The bill, moved by Grand Democratic Alliance MPA Gondlani, was previously moved in 2016, after complaints of women, particularly minors, who belonged to the Hindu community and were forced to convert to Islam.
At first, the bill was passed collectively and the provincial assembly was praised for taking lead over the issue. PPP and MQM were among the parties that supported the decision. However, PPP took back their stance on the matter after religious parties began to protest and threatened to come out onto the roads against the legislation.
“Soon after the bill was passed in 2016, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Sirajul Haq held a meeting with PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and conveyed the grievances of religious parties and the Council of Islamic Ideology,” told a senior official to a private news source.
After this development, the PPP leadership passed a message to the Sindh Governor Justice at the time, asking him not to ratify the bill. That bill was then returned to the governor who asked the assembly to “revisit” it, but to no avail. When the bill was brought up again presently, the bill hardly made it to referral to the provincial cabinet, and even then, the bill was rejected with majority from the treasury benches voting against it.
Goklani spoke to the media after saying, “I will suggest that they [PPP] stop staging a drama, celebrating Diwali, Holi and other festivals of the Hindu community. They should stop proclaiming themselves as the champions of minorities’ rights,” due to the silence on PPP’s part.
On the other hand, Sindh LG Shah told the media that PPP was not against the law and simply can’t overlook the rules.
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