Ministers divided over Anti-forced Conversion Bill

By: News Desk      Published: 03:04 PM, 14 Oct, 2021
Anti-Forced Conversion Bill
File photo of the federal cabinet meeting.

The anti-forced conversion bill has split the federal cabinet into two groups; one for it and one against it, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Thursday.

Quoting sources, the channel reported that both these groups had conveyed to Prime Minister Imran Khan their concerns. 

While minority member of parliament and Secretary Human Rights Lal Chand Malhi, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari and Ramesh Kumar were supporters of the bill, Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, Minister of State Ali Muhammad Khan and Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Qibla Ayaz were opposed to it, sources elaborated. 

Giving more details, they told 24News TV channel that the group supporting the bill had told the prime minister that the CII members’ narrowmindedness had led to the rejection of their piece of legislation. 

Federal ministers Noorul Haq Qadri and Ali Muhammad Khan, on the other hand, had refused to budge from their positions, saying they would not let the bill to be passed which is anti-Islam in its spirit come what may, sources elaborated.

The Ministry of Human Rights had prepared the draft of the anti-forced conversion bill, which had been rejected by a special committee of the parliament yesterday (Wednesday) by a big majority.   

Earlier, on September 22, 2021, the Council of Islamic Ideology too had rejected the bill and sent it back to the Religious Ministry.

Sources had divulged to the 24NewsHD then that the forced conversion bill would be deferred as the Council of Islamic Ideology did not approve of it. 

The ministry had forwarded the bill to the Islamic council body for its review but the CII rejected it saying there is no age limit for conversion in Islam, sources said. 

The draft of the bill contained a clause that specified a certain age limit for embracing any religion, sources concluded.

Reporter Gauhar Mehsud