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Pakistan’s Hindu Community criticises Religious Political Parties for opposing Minorities Bill, 2015, that Criminalises Forced Conversions

Conversion is a basic right as marriage is, but just like forced marriage, forced conversions are also a violation of human rights

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Pakistani Hindus Complain of Forced Conversion of Teenage Girls, VOA
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Islamabad, November 30, 2016: Pakistan’s Hindu community has criticised religious political parties for opposing the Minorities Bill, 2015, that criminalises the forced conversions. The bill was recently passed by Sindh’s provincial assembly.

Pakistan Muslim League-N lawmaker Ramesh Kumar commended the Pakistan Peoples Party government in Sindh for setting the minimum age for religious conversion at 18.

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“People are issued a CNIC and driving licence at 18 and are allowed to vote after they are 18. In Sindh, the age at which someone can be legally married is also 18, because before that age an individual is considered a child,” Kumar was quoted by Dawn as saying.

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He said that girls belonging to religious minorities were kidnapped in Sindh and forcibly married, mostly to seminary students, and that they have no choice but to adapt to their new lives.

“After this law, conversions before the age of 18 will be considered a crime,” Kumar said.

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Members of the civil society said that the incidence of forced conversions was increasing across the country, particularly in Sindh, and that the bill will go a long way to help the minorities in Pakistan.

“Conversion is a basic right as marriage is, but just like forced marriage, forced conversions are also a violation of human rights, and is against the teachings of Islam as well,” said Krishan Sharma, Chairman of the REAT Network Pakistan (Rights of Expression, Assembly, Association and Thought Network).

Sharma said that Hindus in the region have historically converted to Islam or Christianity and that they have carried their family names after conversion as well.

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All the provinces should adopt similar laws to protect minorities from forced conversions and forced marriages, he said.

The two larger religious political parties, the Jamiat-e-Islam and the Jamiat Ulema Islam-F, are opposing the new law which was recently enacted in Sindh. They claim the law is part of a conspiracy to make Pakistan a liberal and secular country. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?