Forcible conversion of Hindu girls: ‘Guilty conscience’, says Sushma Swaraj after Pakistan minister takes dig

Ministry of External Affairs chief Sushma Swaraj.

The alleged abduction and forcible conversion of two Hindu girls in Pakistan has become the latest flashpoint between India and Pakistan, with ministers from both sides taking swipes at each other.

Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday took a dig at External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for seeking a report on the issue. Calling it "Pakistan’s internal issue", Chaudhry claimed his country is not "Modi’s India where minorities are subjugated".

Taking to Twitter, Swaraj had earlier asked the Indian envoy in Pakistan to submit a report on the matter.

Responding to the tweet, the Pakistani minister reminded Swaraj of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s "Naya Pakistan" and expressed hope that India would "act with same diligence when it comes to rights of Indian minorities".

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"Maam, its Pakistan’s internal issue and rest assured, it’s not Modi's India where minorities are subjugated. It’s Imran Khan's Naya Pakistan where the white colour of our flag is equally dearer to us. I hope you’ll act with the same diligence when it comes to the rights of Indian minorities," Chaudhry said in response to Swaraj’s tweet.

Hours later, the EAM claimed that her order for an enquiry was "enough" to make the Pakistani minister "jittery" which only proved his "guilty conscience". "Mr Minister Fawad Chaudhry – I only asked for a report from the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad about the kidnapping and forced conversion of two minor Hindu girls to Islam. This was enough to make you jittery. This only shows your guilty conscience. @IndiainPakistan," she said.

Responding to this, Chaudhry said, "Madam Minister, I am happy that in the Indian administration, we have people who care for minority rights in other countries. I sincerely hope that your conscience will allow you to stand up for minorities at home as well. Gujarat and Jammu must weigh heavily on your soul."

According to reports, two Hindu girls were abducted and forcibly converted to Islam in Dharki town of Ghotki district in Sindh province on the eve of Holi. Imran Khan has also ordered for a probe into the case.

Relations between India and Pakistan have been frayed ever since the February 14 Pulwama terror attack on a CRPF convoy. Forty jawans were killed in the suicide attack for which Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility. This was followed by the Balakot airstrikes by the Indian Air Force in which a Jaish terror camp was destroyed. Pakistan retaliated the next day, albeit unsuccessfully, to target Indian military installations.