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I love Pakistan, but I can’t live here

Population of Hindus in Pakistan keeps dwindling as they migrate to avoid persecution

I love Pakistan, but I can’t live here
A destroyed temple in Larkana.

Daleep Kumar, a businessman from interior Sindh, pays extortion money every month to insure the safety of his wife and 7-year-old daughter. If he doesn’t pay, he places his loved ones at risk.

“Influential big wigs from my area came to my place of business and demanded a handsome portion of my income. As a Hindu and minority in this country, I have to pay whatever they demand,” Kumar said while talking to this scribe. When his daughter is at school, he prays for her safe return. Fear of kidnapping always is on his mind.

“I love Pakistan, which is my motherland, but I can’t live here with peace of mind” said Kumar, with tears rolling down his cheeks. He is considering migrating to India for a better and safe future.

Thousands of Pakistani Hindus face a similar dilemma. They love their homeland but face problems on several fronts, including practicing their religion freely, sexual harassment, kidnapping for ransom, forced marriages outside their faith, targeted killings, and religious discrimination in society. Many Hindus have already fled to India to escape persecution and many are planning to migrate.

According to Minority Rights Group International (MRG), census figures of 1951 showed that Hindus made up 21 per cent of Pakistan’s population. By 1998, that declined to 1.7 per cent and today that number has fallen to 1.2 per cent of the total population. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reported that around 600 to 1000 Hindu families migrated to India in 2012-2013.

An advocate of Sindh High Court and human rights activist, Kalpana Devi, claimed that forced conversion of Hindu girls is a major factor compelling Pakistani Hindus to flee. She alleged that the trend of selling kidnapped Hindu girls has also increased in the last few years.

Quoting a story of 24-year-old Hindu girl, Kalpana said that she was kidnapped by an influential of the area who allegedly forced her to change the religion. According to Kalpana, the girl was sold twice in one-and-a-half years. When her parents tracked her down, they went to court and demanded her release. Even after the court’s decision in favour of the abducted girl, her parents had to pay money to the abductors for her safe return; she said and added that she had migrated now.

On request of anonymity, another 19-year-old Hindu girl narrated her miseries after she eloped with a police officer and became Muslim. “I was feeling so lucky that a well-settled, handsome guy loved me and agreed to marry me,” she said and added that she had no regret for leaving her family and religion. She left her home, religion and family to marry him but after sharing bed for a couple of months, he forced her to marry his father.

“After marrying his father, he re-sold me to another local who abused me both physically and mentally. One day, he brutally tortured me and cut off my long hair. I attempted to rejoin my family and even tried to migrate but failed in both cases. Then a third Muslim man bought me. We got married and now I am living a better life with my husband and two kids in the same city but life is vulnerable for Hindus in Pakistan,” the woman said.

Naumana Suleman, Programme Coordinator National Commission for Justice and Peace in Pakistan, claims in her 2013 research paper titled ‘Fact-Sheet Forced Conversion and Marriages in Pakistan’ that 729 Pakistani Hindus were forced to convert to Islam during 2000-2012.

A Hindu doctor, Partap Rai, was shot and injured in his private clinic for not attending to a child patient quickly as per the wish of the child’s family. According to police reports, the father of child shot six bullets and fled away from the scene. Doctors managed to save the life of Dr Partap, but could not save him from paralysis.

The annual report of HRCP for 2013 noted, “Pakistan has become a more difficult country for religious minorities and many Hindus have raised their concern about girls’ abduction and forced conversion to Islam. Those from the ‘scheduled’ castes faced discrimination even at the hands of ‘upper caste’ Hindus in Pakistan.”

A 2013 report from Human Rights Monitor shows that 13 Hindus were killed during 2011-2012 in Pakistan and 25 were kidnapped for ransom. The monitor report states that these are only the cases which had been filed and reported otherwise actual numbers would be much higher.

Many Hindu temples have been set on fire in different cities of Pakistan. The latest incident occurred on March 15, 2014 in Larkana when an angry mob set a Hindu temple and Dharamshala on fire in response to alleged desecration of the Holy Quran. According to police report, a Hindu allegedly burned the scripts of Holy Quran. According to Hindu religious clergies, extrajudicial acts are unconstitutional, therefore, the accused should be produced before the court of law instead of attacking religious places and killing innocent Hindus.

At the time of Pakistan’s independence in 1947, nobody could imagine that in a country like Pakistan with two major colours in its flag — green for Muslims and white for non Muslims — minorities would feel threatened.

Ramesh Lal Motwani, a Hindu member of National Assembly, says that some extremists are violating the constitution and law by attacking Hindu temples and forcefully converting abducted Hindu girls to Islam. Motwani demands safety for Pakistani Hindus which is necessary to erase the negative impression of religious extremism from Pakistan.

25 comments

  • Shaheen Chowdhury

    As a Bangalee, I am waiting for the day, when Pakistan will be Hindu free. I would like to see what it looks like of Pakistan as a 100% Muslim nation, how ugly it becomes. Bangladesh still has 8-10% Hindus. If Bangladesh ever becomes Hindu free, it will turn into one of the ugliest place of the world. I don’t know about the nature of Pakistan, so waiting to see what happens when Pakistan becomes Hindu free.

    • Umm, sorry to burst your bubble but the population of Hindus you cited only proves your lack of intelligence. The population statistics prior to 1971 included both West Pakistan and EAST PAKISTAN. A vast majority of Hindus lived in East Pakistan.

      If you want a proper statistic of the growth or decline of the Hindu population in Pakistan, you should open a book and do your research at least.

      Allow me to school you so this debate can be put away once and for all.

      According to the 1951 Pakistan census, the population of West Pakistan was 33,816,000 (33.8 million). Around 6.5 million Muslims came to West Pakistan from India while 5.4 million Hindus left West Pakistan for India. Therefore there was an addition of approximately 6.5 – 5.4 = 1.1 million people in the West Pakistan population.

      So we can assume that before Independence, the population was 33.8 – 1.1= 32.7 million.

      The percentage of Hindus in West Pakistan in 1947 was ~ 20%. So when we do the math, 20/100 x 32.7 = 6.54 million Hindus lived in West Pakistan until 1947. Since we have established that 5.4 million Hindus left during the partition, 6.54 – 5.4 = 1.14 million Hindus remained in West Pakistan after 1947.

      As of the last census, the population of Hindus in Pakistan is 2,950,000.

      1.14 million – 1947
      2.95 million – 2012

      Dwindling? No. Has the growth rate gone down? Yes…but they still maintain a strong community.

      Next time you wanna write up a long English “look at how cool I am” type of article, at least open a book and have the decency to educate yourself.

      Thanks.

      I’m pretty sure this won’t be accepted by your “Freedom of Speech” loving moderators.

      • There are two problems with your analysis here. One is data based, the proportion of Hindus in the areas that comprised West Pakistan was certainly more than 20 %, more like 30%. In 1951, Pakistan as a whole consisted of 22 % of Hindu population, while East Pakistan, by itself had 22 % Hindu population. This means that Hindu population of West Pakistan in 1951 was close to 9 million, even in 1951. Pre-partition Hindu population in West Pakistan then was 14 million, which gives the 30% number I quoted earlier.

        So from 9 million in 1951 to 2.95 million in 2012, with 3000 leaving every month. Not the sign of a ‘strong community’ by any means.

        • from which source you qoute this 30 million data

      • The other is that a definition of a strong community cannot be based simply on numbers, the impact of Pakistani Hindus and minorities on Pakistani national life is marginal.

      • Im glad people like you exist, it gives me peace of mind to know that there are people who can provide a reality check to Pakistan haters.
        P.s:- i love Pakistan, i strongly condemn the misrepresentation of Islam n Pakistan, and i personally know hindus in Sindh who have no such issues as stated and exaggerated above!

      • Agreed brother..but what about the illegal conversion to Muslim,discrimination like no big post to Hindu or Sikh or Jains,n o ministers in parliament or on assembly, no faces in entertainment or modeling world or no Hindu actors, no national holiday for minorities ..Thats your Pakistan..compare to India brother..

        • It speaks for itself.

          “According to Minority Rights Group International (MRG), census figures of 1951 showed that Hindus made up 21 per cent of Pakistan’s population. By 1998, that declined to 1.7 per cent and today that number has fallen to 1.2 per cent of the total population. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reported that around 600 to 1000 Hindu families migrated to India in 2012-2013.

          An advocate of Sindh High Court and human rights activist, Kalpana Devi, claimed that forced conversion of Hindu girls is a major factor compelling Pakistani Hindus to flee. She alleged that the trend of selling kidnapped Hindu girls has also increased in the last few years.”

          No further addition.

    • Shaheen, Why do you feel Bangladesh or Pakistan will be ugly if Hindus are wiped off ?

  • Pakistan is ging 2 b fractured very soon in five smaller states: Punjabistan, Baluchistan, Pakhtunistan, Sindhistan, Jinnahastan, and PoK will join Indian J&K.

    • Tejpal, Why do you envisage Pakistan’s disintegration into five smaller states ?

      • It’s not me envisaging it but the Pakistani Muslims (other than Punjabis) are openly advocating it. As you must beware that Balochis, Sindhi Bihari Muslims are agitating repeatedly. Talibanis’ one faction – TTP is already revolting. If you view Pakistan closely, it has become dominated by violent communities who are constantly warring. Hence I’m just projecting their ground realities that are their everyday reality. Only time will tell…..

        • That will be very bad for India. It’s easier to deal with 1 big mental asylum than 5 asylums. Just think, if each of them get a nuke it will be terrible for the human civilization. All decent people (Hindu or Muslim) in Pak is trying move out of that country.

      • Good question but it’s not my surmise. Pakistan has been rendered unstable country by them and if there is no peace in a place, the place can never flourish. For rest, kindly peruse my reply hereunder. Thank you.

    • That is the most absurd thing i’ve ever heard, made me actually laugh. I think ur delusional :s

    • Looking at the condition of Pakistan i do feel it is going to be divide very soon.

      • Is that what your state is feeding you now a days? Then you Indians are in for a surprise and not what you are expecting.

        • Biggest tragedy is the emergence of radical Wahhabi Islam, whose by-products are fundamentalist Islamist jihadi organisations. These terror groups are responsible to defame Islam in world today. Unfortunately today Muslim Umma are so scared of being assaulted to speak against such rogue terror groups inspired by fundamentalist Islamist groups. Islam does not give freedom to speak against Islam or leave Islam. In both such cases, death is punishment. This fatwa scares Muslims to speak the truth of Islamic terrorists. Example lie in Pakistan itself about the invasion of Mosque in Pakistan by Musharraf when he had attacked d Mosque to flush out the fundamentalist Islamists hidden inside that Mosque. Unless Islam reforms itself, chances are that radical Islam shall be more n more violent.

  • The population of Hindus in Pakistan is decreasing very rapidly because they are not safe there. But in India we are going to give reserve positions in govt. and private sectors for Muslims. This is the difference between India and Pakistan. They have poverty and other problems and they are divided on religion and if they will not change their thinking, they cannot develop well.

  • Muslim community itself does not respect their own women-according their personal laws..then how they safeguard women of Hindu minorities? Polygamy , unilateral divorce etc ruined themselves..we need to do nothing..

  • Situation of Muslims and other minorities in Hindustan is more worst then the the Pakistani minorities. In India all of the minorities are facing Hindu extremism. India actually hate Pakistan but due to its nuclear power do not dare to attack Pakistan openly but try to damage Pakistan through different conspiracies conduct by the RAW and Afghan Agencies many secret agent has been arrested by the police and Pakistani Agencies.

    • Situation of Hindus especially Sindhis are worst in Pakistan. Hindus Sindhi Girls are forcibly converted, have to pay protection money by Hindus. Muslims in India are better placed in India with their Gundai. Many Mini Pakistan in India such as Karaina in UP, Muzzafarpur, Old Delhi walled city and many others also in Kolkata.

    • Dear Islamist, u sud join ISIS where ur Abu Baqr Al Baghdadi is warmly waiting for u. All d Muslims come out with lies to justify their crimes and lies. They never accept their truth of violence, criomes, loot. Entire world is ur victim. Wherever the Muzzies r in majority, there is trouble. Kindly stop pretending.

  • I don’t even believe in Pakistan as a country. It is just a rebel State in the Indian Republic. Sooner rather than later it is going to come to its senses and merge back into the Indian Republic.

    • Pakistan was created on d altar of hate, violence and crimes including d annexation of Balochistan and NWFPs. It can’t sustain because hate begets hate and love begets love. Whioch one do u want to cultivate? Decide!!!

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