KARACHI    -   The Sindh Assembly on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution to ask the provincial government to take notice of recent surge of kidnapping of girls from various districts and give exemplary punishment to the culprits.

The resolution was tabled by Grand Democratic Alliance lawmaker Nand Kumar Goklani who said that Hindus are real heirs of Sindh Dharti but they were targeted and their girls were being kidnapped.

Initially, he mentioned Hindu girls in his resolution but later amended it when other members termed girls’ kidnapping a social issue which has nothing to do with any religion. “This house resolves that the provincial government take notice of recent surge of girls’ kidnapping from various districts of Sindh and take steps to arrest the culprits and give them exemplary punishment,” amended resolution reads.

Goklani said that Hindu girls were often forced to change their religion, adding that 41 Hindu girls were forced to convert their religion in last two weeks. “Pakistan’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had promised to give equal rights to non-Muslim Pakistanis as well but this is not his Pakistan,” the GDA added. He said that he had moved a bill regarding the issue but the same has not been tabled.

Khurram Sherzaman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf opposed the wording of the resolution and said that kidnapping was not being done in the name of any religion but it was a social issue. “This is a curse which may exist in Punjab and other provinces and we should devise a mechanism to eradicate it,” said Sherzaman.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Javed Hanif said this issue not only pertains to Pakistan but it was an issue of Sub-continent. Islam is the religion of peace and safeguards rights of minorities. The Minister for Minorities Affairs Hari Ram Lal Kishori also supported the resolution but backed other parties’ stance that it was not religious issue but a social one. He said that besides Hindus, Muslims and girls belonged to other communities were also being kidnapped and ‘we should raise for every oppressed segments of the society’.

The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s Syed Abdul Rasheed was of the view that Pakistan is the safest place for minorities. Terming the kidnapping issue a challenge, Rasheed urged upon joint efforts to curb this social evil.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla was of the view that communities other than Muslims should not be called ‘minorities’ but non-Muslim Pakistanis. He invited other political parties to sit together and devise a strategy for resolving this issue. “We all should make legislation that paves the way to eradicate this menace,” he stressed.

Separately, the house also approved an adjournment motion of the Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker Riaz Hussain Shah Sheerazi regarding increase in price of essential commodities in Pakistan. Two-hour discussion was fixed in the sitting to be held on 24th July.

The PTI’s Khurram Sherzaman withdrew his privilege motion against the Karachi Water and Sewerage Boards Director General for not fulfilling a promise to provide water to his constituency. He withdrew his motion after the government assured to take action against the officials, if found guilty.

As usual, most of the private members’ business including private resolution, private motions and amendments in rules of procedure remained untouched when the Deputy Speaker Rehana Laghari adjourned the house till Friday at 10am.