Pooja Kumari, an 18-year-old girl from the Hindu community was murdered on Monday, March 22, near the Chhuahra Mandi area of Sukkur in Sindh. Station House Officer Bashir Jagirani informed the media that the assailant was identified as Wahid Bux Lashari. Along with two aides, he broke into Kumari’s house and opened fire on her. Lashari allegedly shot her down after she refused to marry him; triggering a considerable outrage on social media. #JusticeforPooja began to trend on various online platforms. According to Dawn News, the teenager’s father filed a first information report (FIR) against the suspects under Section 34, Section 302 and Section 337H(ii) of the Pakistan Penal Code. Although the police assured the victim’s family that the accused had been apprehended, they took to the streets in protest. Many humans rights activists, journalists and politicians spoke up and expressed solidarity with Kumari’s family. Pakistani journalist Veengas shared a video protesting the murder of Kumari and shared her thoughts, “I just wonder how many politicians in Pakistan have condemned the brutal killing of #PoojaKumari or any Human Rights org. #JusticeForPoojaKumari.” Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai’s father, Ziauddin, also spoke up, referring to the murder as “disgusting” and a “heinous crime.” Some Pakistani Hindus say they have good reason to convert to Islam as they face discrimination and poverty as Hindus living in Sindh. This incident adds to a long list of atrocities against minorities in Pakistan. There have been allegations that minor girls belonging to the minority Hindu, Christian and Sikh communities are kidnapped, forcefully converted to Islam and married off to their abductors. If they retaliate, they pay with their lives. Hindus account for 4.5 million, or a little more than two per cent, of Pakistan’s population, according to the most recent census data. Most Pakistani Hindus reside in Sindh, which is known as the country’s religious melting pot. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s 2019 Report, more than 1,000 Hindus are forcibly converted to Islam each year. According to a Dawn report from 2020, data on 162 cases of conversion of minor girls from Punjab and Sindh showed that at least 46 per cent of the converted females were below the age of 18 while the age of another 37 per cent was not mentioned. Most Pakistani Hindus are born into a life of bonded labour. They inherit their parents’ debts and work for landlords. Thus, some Pakistani Hindus say they have good reason to convert to Islam as they face discrimination and poverty as Hindus living in Sindh. The Hindu caste system also perpetrates discrimination and leaves lower-class Hindus struggling to find employment and marriage. Some Muslim clerics offer them a way out. In response to the high number of forced conversions taking place in the nation, commission member Lal Chand Malhi, a Hindu member of the parliament, stated, “If Hindus and Christians have the liberty to convert or change their religion, that liberty must also be extended to Muslims.” However, clerics have pushed back against earlier legislative attempts to put age limits on conversions. The mindset of many Pakistani presents a great double standard. Although Pakistanis champion the rights of Muslims in other nations (who belong to minority communities and are forcibly converted to other faiths), many stay silent when the same happens within their own nation, albeit with a different religious minority group. Pakistanis must begin to recognise that in many parts of the world, Muslims are considered the minority. Just like we expect to be treated with respect and given the liberty to practice our faith, we must allow the same fruits to those in our nation. The writer is a student.