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Asif Ali Zardari denounces forced conversions of Kalash girl

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Says religion does not permit forced conversions, calls for protection
to Kalash girl

Islamabad June 17, 2016: Former President Asif Al Zardari has expressed deep concern over reports of forcible conversion of a Kalash teenager girl resulting in a clash between the Muslim supporters of conversion and her community in Bamburete, Chitral on Thursday.

According to reports the 14-year old Kalash girl converted to Islam under the influence of a local Muslim and left her home to live with the man’s family living in the same village. But the next day she said she had made a mistake by converting to Islam and returned to her home. This infuriated the local clergy creating a law and order situation in the area.

In a statement the former President said that faith is a matter of one’s conscious and free will and nobody has a right to force conversion of anyone.

The self styled custodians of faith and morality ought to know that there is no compulsion in region, he said.

Unfortunately the self righteous clergy and right wingers have been allowed for too long in their hypocrisy to masquerade their extremist agenda as divinely sanctioned religion, he said. This hypocrisy must not be allowed to take roots; it will not be, the former President Zardri said.

Zardari said that the Party stands by the teenager Kalash girl into embracing any faith she may wish to do on her own volition and free will.

The former President also called for a probe into the incident, protection to the Kalash girl and punishment to the goons.

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