New York, June 20, 2016: 14-year old minor Kalash girl Reena says she converted to ‘Islam’ due to guidance provided to a Muslim man whom she wants to ‘live with’ now.
Worse is that this 14-year old Kalash girl even left her home and decided to stay with the man and his family and then renounced her family and customs to abide by the Islamic laws.
When the Kalash girl Reena went back to meet her family, an armed Muslim mob, earlier happy with her decision to leave her family and live with an unrelated man just because she chose the majority religion, enraged with her latest decision to meet her family decided to sort out the matter once for all.
The Kalash girl’s family and in fact the entire community was savagely attacked as the mob fears that she would go back to her earlier faith which was unacceptable to it.
This was much like the cases of forced conversion which is making the Hindu and Christian community flee from Pakistan in large numbers.
Attack was so savage that the peaceful Kalash people had no choice but to run for their lives and hide in places while the political class and the human rights activists looked the other way; they always have to, if they wish to survive.
Such strong was the crowd that police had to fire tear gas to disperse it in Bumburate in the northwestern district of Chitral, where the girl was giving a police statement on her conversion.
Kalash are hardly 3500-4000 people in Pakistan and yet they are targeted, just like Christians and Hindus, for forced conversion encouraged by mainstream political parties who earn their share of dollars by mouthing secularism in the West and then use the same currency to aid these radical elements.
This minority community is easily one of the most modern communities of the South Asia where women enjoy freedom of all kinds, including freedom to wear whatever they feel like. Their garments are fancy and they have a flair for fashion, traditional style, and colours.
The men of this community have no history of being violent towards women and are humble and kind towards others, unlike the majority of Pakistan, yet they are being targeted for conversion indiscriminately.
Since Friday, Kalash community has been living under abject fear of persecution. But what every Pakistani should ask is whether they would allow a similar decision of a minor Muslim girl to convert to another religion and go and live with an unrelated man.
If even a minority community of mere 4000 can irk and irritate them so much, then really, do they have a right to question other nations on human rights?
Also, why can’t the Kalash valley be made exclusive for the community so that this ancient religion can live in peace without the fear of persecution?
This is when Pakistan was busy celebrating Pakistani-origin British minority Sadiq Khan’s elevation as the mayor of London while it itself is an entirely hostile state for minorities. Why the double standards?