Two bills have been submitted to the National Assembly secretariat in Pakistan seeking to increase punishment for those involved kidnapping and forced conversion, and making child marriage a cognisable offence.

The move comes amid ongoing controversy surrounding the alleged kidnapping of two Hindu girls and their forced conversion to Islam.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani also submitted a resolution with the support of minority lawmakers from all major political parties condemning such incidents.

The five-point resolution calls for immediate passage of the bill against forced conversions.

One of the bills proposes five years to life imprisonment for a person who forces another to convert.

The bills are intended to serve as a deterrent.

One of the two bills suggests the setting up of specific courts to hear cases of forced conversions and shelter homes for victims.

It states any case of forced conversion before the court should be dealt within a period of 90 days with any reason for adjournment given in writing by the court.

The other bill – the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act, 2019 – indicates that those involved in child marriage cases be given rigorous imprisonment.

It suggests increasing punishment from one month to three years, and an increase in the fine from Rs1,000 to Rs200,000.