'India only hope for minorities living in Pakistan'

'India only hope for minorities living in Pakistan'

BJP national vice president Avinash Rai Khanna. (DH File Photo)

BJP national vice president Avinash Rai Khanna on Saturday expressed concern over an incident in Pakistan in which a Sikh girl was allegedly abducted and converted to Islam, and said India is the only hope for minorities living in the neighbouring country.

The 19-year-old girl after being allegedly converted was married to a Muslim man in Pakistan's Punjab province, and police there have registered a case against six people in connection with the incident.

In a letter to Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Khanna sought the Centre's intervention to ensure basic rights and safety of minorities living in Pakistan. 

"India is the only hope for minorities living in Pakistan," he said lauding the Indian government's concern in such cases.

In a video message, the girl's family members have claimed that she was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam in Lahore's Nankana Sahib area. They have also sought Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's help.

"Our government should come forward and use all available means to make the neighbouring country understand that there should be no violation of human rights in any form and that a sense of security be induced among these sections and there is no case of forcible conversion or harassment to them in future," Khanna said in the letter.

Taking note of videos on social media regarding the girl's marriage, Khanna, who is also the BJP's Jammu and Kashmir in-charge, said the government should take up the matter with Pakistan so that rights of minorities, in particular, Hindus and Sikhs, are safeguarded.