Hindu elected to Pakistan parliament vows to seek reforms

ISLAMABAD — The first ever Hindu elected to a general seat in Pakistan's parliament says he wants to work on combatting early marriages and forced conversion, and on improving health care in his home region.

Mahesh Kumar Malani, a 55-year-old from a remote area of the southern Sindh province, won a competitive seat in the July 25 election. Other Hindus have served in parliament in seats set aside for religious minorities.

Malani ran on the ticket of the Pakistan People's Party, which also had two Hindu members elected to general seats in the Sindh provincial assembly.

Religious minorities have long faced discrimination in Pakistan, a conservative Sunni-majority country. They have also been a frequent target of religious extremists.

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