Pakistani Hindu girls talk to media as they appear before Islamabad High Court. Reuters
Two Pakistani Hindu sisters whose parents said they were kidnapped and forced to change their religion to marry Muslims had converted voluntarily, a court ruled on Thursday, in a case that has attracted attention in Hindu-majority India.
The Islamabad High Court had ordered the government to take custody of the sisters, both teenagers, in late March after accusations spread on social media that they had been forced to convert to Islam.
Another video showed the sisters saying they had married two Muslim men and converted to Islam of their own free will.
The court said the two were adult enough to make their own decisions and that they were not forced to convert.
Police say the teenagers left their home in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh on March 20 to be married in Punjab province, where the law does not bar marriages of those younger than 18, unlike Sindh.
The police detained ten people in the case and registered a formal case of kidnapping and robbery on complaints from the girls' parents.
The incident prompted a rare public intervention by a top Indian official in its neighbour's domestic affairs, when Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter she had asked India's ambassador in Pakistan for a report.
Pakistan was "totally behind the girls," Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on social media in response to Swaraj's message, but asked India to look after its own minority Muslims.
"While 54 detained individuals are being investigated, no details linking them to Pulwama have been found so far," the Pakistan's foreign office said,
China on Friday said it was wrong to accuse it of sheltering terrorists because it put a technical hold on the resolution to blacklist Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group chief Masood Azhar as its decision was in line with the rules of an anti-terrorism panel at the UN.
Imran Khan said he received a message from Modi in which the latter extended "greetings & best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan."
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