Anti-forced conversion legislation contravention with constitution

Staff Report

The impending anti-forced conversions legislation in Pakistan, which has already been tabled before the parliamentary committee on minorities contravenes the basic tenets of the Constitution and flouts the legislative authority of the Parliament as the proposed bill is imposed rather indigenous and aims to serve foreign interests.

This was the crux of the discussion held at a seminar titled ‘rhetoric and reality of forced conversions in Pakistan’ which was organized by Islamabad Bar Association and Legal Thinkers Forum in collaboration with Institute of Policy Studies inside Islamabad Kachehri.

Outlining the vested interest groups behind the proposed bill, Senator Mushtaq alleged that the terms of reference (TORs) of the senate parliamentary committee on minorities were formed with the approval of the Church of England and the US State Department.

He blamed the government authorities of enacting laws undermining or belittling statutes on blasphemy and death penalty, and creating hurdles in the way of religious conversions to appease international donors.

Ghulam Hussain presented key findings of his research to the audience and briefed them about the present ongoing debate vis-à-vis the proposed anti-forced conversion bill.

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