strong class="location">ISLAMABAD: The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has expressed serious concern over the growing number of forced child marriages involving minorities in Pakistan.

According to the NCHR officials, the Commission has been receiving numerous complaints regarding forced marriages lodged by the members of the communities from across the country.

Chairman NCHR, former judge Ali Nawaz Chohan said a strict law and its implementation were very crucial in order to deal with the issue.

“There is a need of a formal procedure to determine the age before the case proceeds to the court,” Chohan said. “Superior courts must issue instruction to subordinate courts while dealing with cases of age determination of a person.”

Earlier, Chairman of Pakistan Minorities Teachers Association (PMTA), Professor Anjum James Paul presented Sana Shahid’s case to the commission.

According to him, Shahid who was a minor at the time when she was forced to marry a Muslim, Waheed, in Sailkot. The Form-B and school certificate documents, he added, proved that the girl was a minor at the time of the marriage, and this comes under Punjab Marriage Constraint Act.

“Unfortunately, no investigation was carried out about the age of the victim when the case was brought to the court,” said Paul.

The academician said minorities in Pakistan have all and equal rights as the other citizens of the country. Discrimination against them is illegal, and is a disrespect to humanity.

No one is allowed any act under the law which amounts to violation of basic rights, he stressed and added that minorities continue to face issues on almost a day-to-day basis in Pakistan.