Abductions of Sindh women a growing concern in Pakistan
Women’s Rights Researcher,
Global Human Rights Defence.
Yet another case has come from the Sindh Province in Pakistan of a woman who was abducted and forced to convert to Islam by her abductors. Shanti Jog is a married Hindu woman who alleged in a video she posted on social media that she was gang-raped by three men for three days after she refused to convert her religion in Samaro Town, Umarkost District, in January 2023 (TOI, 2033; Sikka, 2023). She explicitly named the men and explained what happened to her before she managed to escape and return home. A local Hindu leader said the police have failed to register a case against the perpetrators, stating that Jog and her family are continuously waiting outside the police building for justice to be brought to her (Sikka, 2023). So far, only one of the three has been arrested while the other two are absconding. In February 2023, another report came of a 17-year-old girl who was abducted when at the market with her brother in Mirpur Khas district (ANI, 2023). Police refused to register a kidnapping case before a week went by and afterwards claimed that the girl had accepted conversion to Islam out of her own will. Her father now fears he will never be able to see her again as she has been forcibly married to her kidnapper (ANI, 2023).
These have been the last two cases in a string of such atrocities committed against the Sidh minority in Pakistan. In January 2023, United Nations (UN) experts warned of the rising number of coerced marriages, kidnappings and forced conversions of (minor) girls and women belonging to religious minorities in Pakistan. They called for immediate action by the State to abide by its international commitments to combat slavery and human trafficking and uphold the rights of children and women in the country (Sikka, 2023). But the police continues to show inaction as the persecution of religious minorities is becoming a more normalised phenomenon in the country (PTI, 2023). In June and March of 2022, four girls came forward to share how they had been kidnapped and forcibly married to much older Muslim men within the span of a week. Another case in March 2022 ended in the death of a woman after she refused to convert (PTI, 2023). Human rights experts have found that every year around 1000 girls belonging to minority Hindu, Christian or Sikh communities are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam, yet these cases remain undiscussed both nationally and internationally (TOI, 2023).
Sources and further reading:
ANI. (February 22, 2023). Pakistan: 17-year-old Hindu girl in Sindh kidnapped and
converted to Islam; police claim she converted of her own will. OPIndia. Retrieved
March 21st, 2023, from
PTI. (January 22, 2023). Married Hindu girl abducted, raped after she refuses to convert to
Islam in Pakistan’s Sindh. The Tribune. Retrieved March 21st, 2023, from
Sukka, Y. (January 25, 2023). Pakistan: Married Hindu girl abducted in Sindh, gang-raped
for three days after she resued to convert to Islam. Organiser News. Retrieved March
21st, 2023, from
Times of India (TOI). (January 23, 2023). Hindu girl refuses to conert in Pakistan, is
abducted & raped. India Times News. Retrieved March 21st, 2023, from