“Pakistan`s accession to a sane and tolerant society in which all its sons and daughters are equal before the law and by social standards is going to be a long haul. The process may be started with action against organised abduction-conversion marriage rackets, offering guarantees of prompt and effective police action on complaints of abduction, and firm assurances of evenhanded treatment by the courts of all parties regardless of belief, gender or social status” -- HRCP director and senior journalist I.A. Rehman, ‘Unwelcome conversions‘, March 22, 2012.
ISLAMABAD, March 25: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered two adult women who had stated that they were abducted and forcibly converted to Islam, to be sent back to the Karachi shelter home where they had been lodged since being ‘recovered’, for three more weeks to give them time to “consider” their views.
The Hindu community in Pakistan is asking if he would have done that if these women — Rinkal Kumari and Dr Lata Kumari –had given statements in favour of their kidnappers?
Lawyers and women’s rights activists are asking how women who are legally adult can be treated like errant children and sent off to ‘consider’ their behaviour and views.
According to an eyewitness (a family friend of Rinkal Kumari’s): “When Rinkal came into court, she was brought to give a statement in front of CJP without being allowed to meet her parents, or even her mother. She only stated that she doesn’t want to go anywhere, BUT with her mother. Then CJP met with Rinkal alone for about 20 minutes, and then let her mother meet her for only 10 minutes. Afterwards Rinkal was crying before CJP, saying she wanted to go to her parents. CJP said, girl wants to go with her parents but there is confusion as the girl had embraced Islam and had spent married life, so how can she turn around from her previous statement? Therefore, he ordered Rinkal to be sent to shelter home for more three weeks to think, along with Dr. Lata, who was sent to shelter home on same grounds.”
“Is this justice?” asked the friend, a Hindu citizen of Pakistan, adding bitterly. “The Chief Justice should have backed the innocent girls, supported them and should have ordered immense and appropriate action against the Mullah and involved culprits, BUT after all he is a Muslim as well, he has intentions to book a plot in heaven as well…”
According to a KTN reporter, Rinkal Kumari’s words in court were: “Pakistan mein sab log ek doosre ke saath mile huwe hain, yahan insaaaf sirf muslaman ke lye hai, Hindu ke lye koi insaaf nahee hai, mujhe yaheen court room mein maar daalo, lekin Dar-ul-aman nahee bhejo, yeh sab log mile huwe hain yeh humein maar dale.nge” (Everyone in Pakistan is hand in glove, there is justice only for Muslims, there is no justice for Hindus. Kill me here in court, but don’t send me to Darul-Aman, all these people are hand in glove, they will kill us).
Here is the KTN report, captured on a personal camera – the reporter repeats Rinkals words quote-un-quote: