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Pakistan must ban forced religious conversion: group

WASHINGTON--Pakistan needs to overhaul laws to ban forced conversions which are leading to rape or other abuse against hundreds of non-Muslim girls each year, an advocacy group said Wednesday.

The Movement for Solidarity and Peace, which campaigns against religious violence in Pakistan, said that forced conversions generally involve the abductions of girls or young women who are then converted to Islam and married.

The girls are often raped or beaten and, when the family complains to police, the abductor responds that the girl has willingly converted, the group said in a report.

While exact figures are unverifiable, an estimated 100 to 700 Christian girls and at least 300 Hindu girls undergo such conversions in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation each year, the group said.

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