Sikhs and Christians of Karachi have come out in support of the Hindu community over the alleged kidnapping and forced conversion of a 17-year-old girl from the Ghotki district of Sindh under the patronage of a Pakistan People's Party (PPP) legislator. On Sunday, members of various minority communities joined hands to stage a protest outside the Karachi Press Club demanding justice.

Rinkle Kumari is said to have been kidnapped from her home in Mirpur Mathelo in Ghotki district on the night of February 24 by men owing allegiance to the PPP member of the National Assembly, Mian Abdul Haq. She was then taken to Bharchundi Sharif of which Mian Haq is the spiritual leader. The girl's family claims that she was forcibly converted to Islam, rechristened ‘Faryal' and married to Naveed Shah, a supporter of the MNA.

However, another version that is in circulation is that Rinkle left home on her own to marry Naveed.

This is not disputed by some of her family members with her uncle Daya Ram being quoted in Pakistan Today as saying Rinkle was supposed to meet Naveed on the night of February 24 on the assumption that he would be alone. However, he was accompanied by armed men who abducted her and taken to the shrine where she was converted and married to Naveed.

With Rinkle's family registering a case on her kidnapping, the matter came up in court but there are numerous versions on what transpired there. Claiming that the court ordered Rinkle to stay with her “husband'' without giving adequate time for her and her family to state their case, they now want the girl to be sent to a shelter pending final decision.

With a PPP MNA involved, President Asif Ali Zardari himself had stepped in early in the case to call for a transparent and speedy investigation. Taking serious note of reports of the kidnapping, the President had called for a report from the provincial government on February 26.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has written to the President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of Pakistan besides the Governor and Chief Minister of Sindh to conduct a judicial enquiry into the case and also ensure that no one is forced to convert to another religion.

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