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Pakistan arrests 7 for the alleged conversion of two Hindu girls in Sindh

The incident sparked a diplomatic row between India and Pakistan when ministers from both countries accused each other of violating their minorities' rights.

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New Delhi: Pakistan Monday arrested seven people for the alleged forced abduction and marriage of two Hindu minor girls at Ghotki district in the country’s Sindh province. Among the arrested is the cleric who allegedly officiated the marriage.

According to Pakistani media reports, the cleric was arrested after the two girls, Reena (15) and Raveena (13), sought protection from a court in Bahawalpur, Pakistani Punjab.

The incident had sparked a diplomatic spat between both countries after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she had sought a ‘report’ on the issue from the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan.

That had set off a bitter war of words with Pakistan’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, with both accusing each other’s countries of mistreating their respective minorities.

The Pakistani minister replied to Swaraj’s tweet by stating that it was Pakistan’s internal and hoped that the Indian government would ‘act with diligence’ when the rights of Indian minorities were violated.

Swaraj then responded, tweeting that the Pakistan government had become “jittery” over India’s demand for a report.

The Twitter feud came close on the heels of the Balakot air strikes, when the hostility between the two countries had peaked.

Spat sparks comparisons on social media

The Twitter spat has led to comparisons on the way both countries treat their minorities.

The alleged abduction and forced marriage came to light on Holi, 21 March, when Pakistani Twitter began raging against its government after a video of the father of the two girls went viral.

Prime Minister Imran Khan reacted within three days of the incident and Sunday ordered a probe.

In the wake of Swaraj’s tweet, parallels are being drawn with the Pakistani action and the ruling BJP’s silence on the attack of a Muslim family in Gurugram, which also occurred on 21 March.

“Much appreciated @ImranKhanPTI and likewise we expect same things from @narendramodi to take action on violence in India for Muslim,” tweeted one user.

“Level of incompetency: No word on brutal attack of Bhakts in #Gurugram violence but will poke nose into other countries for no bloody reason,” tweeted a Pakistan-based user.

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  1. Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj should have shown a little patience and not interfered and made her interference public in a hurry. Result is embarrassment to the govt of India while Pak govt acted promptly. People living in glass houses should not throw stones at each other.

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