Persecution of Pakistani Hindus

Hindus in Pakistan
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Hindus Persecutions in Pakistan

Pakistani Hindus are Hindus of full or partial Pakistani descent. Constituting 2.00% of Pakistan’s population, the last Pakistan census divided Hindus into Jāti (1.6%) and scheduled castes (0.25%).[3][4]

After Pakistan gained independence from Britain on 14 August 1947, 4.4 million of the country’s Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while 4.1 million Muslims moved from India to live in Pakistan.[5] The 1998 census of Pakistan recorded less than 2.5 million Hindus.[3] The overwhelming majority of Hindus in Pakistan are concentrated in Sindh province.[6]

pakistan in 1947 hindus persecuationSindh at one time had a very sizeable Hindu population; however, at the time of partition large numbers migrated to the Indian side of the border. The partition of India in August 1947 resulted in genocidal campaigns against religious minorities, with the Hindus in Pakistan suffering most. In addition to the genocide, several million Hindus were forced to become refugees. Those who decided to stay behind in Pakistan after partition had to face constitutional limitations and social stigma. One of the country’s principal and primary constitutional documents, the Objective Resolution of March 1949 makes provision for non-Muslims to freely profess and practise their religion, and this tolerant spirit is reflected in the provisions of the 1956, 1962 and the 1973 constitutions. However, despite the presence of these constitutional guarantees, the Hindu community both prior to and even after 1971 has been a continual target of suspicion and has often been treated as a fifth column. Political expediency has allowed Hindus to be treated as scapegoats for the general incompetence of governments in power.

While Islam has been used as the great rallying force for political ends, conversely, and for the same purposes, Hindus have been treated as anti-state and anti-Islamic elements, discriminated against and persecuted, arguably becoming victims of genocide during the secessionist war of 1971. Hindus generally lack equal access to education, employment and social advancement.

The tiny minority of Hindus that remains in the truncated Pakistan of today, continues to find itself vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. The constitutional amendments introduced by General Zia-ul-Haq have adversely affected the position of the Hindu minority. More significantly, the rise in religious extremism within South Asia, with periods of tense political relations between India and Pakistan, has led to greater violence and physical attacks on Hindus. Thus the Hindus of Pakistan frequently suffer from outbursts of anti-Hindu sentiments generated through a backlash of violations against the rights of Muslims in India.

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 1947 file photo, Muslim refugees sit on the roof of an overcrowded coach railway train near New Delhi in trying to flee India. Millions of Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan. Partition marked a massive upheaval across the subcontinent. Hindus living for generations in what was to become Pakistan had to flee their homes overnight. (AP Photo, File)

FILE – In this Sept. 19, 1947 file photo, Partition marked a massive upheaval across the subcontinent. Hindus living for generations in what was to become Pakistan had to flee their homes overnight. (AP Photo, File)

In 1974, the riots which preceded the partition in the Punjab Province, it is believed that between 200,000 and 2,000,000[2][3][4] people were killed in the retributive genocide between the religions.[5][6] UNHCR estimates 14 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were displaced during the partition; it was the largest mass migration in human history.

The Babri Masjid incident (December 1992) provides a tragic example, when anger at the demolition of the mosque in Ayodhya (India) was vented against the Hindus and their properties in Pakistan. It is estimated that between 2-8 December 1992 about 120 Hindu temples were destroyed in various parts of Pakistan. In a number of instances, gangs of frenzied men entered these temples, smashed the idols of revered Hindu gods and goddesses, snatched the jewels that adorned them, and made off with the charity boxes containing donations. Several shops were looted or burnt, with the cost of damages running into millions of rupees. More than 500 non-Muslims, primarily Hindu families, were victimized and tortured; angry crowds entered their houses, destroyed their furniture and household goods and took away their savings and jewellery. There were also physical attacks on members of the Hindu community. A number of Hindus were killed, including a family of six who were burned to death in Loralia. Compensation for the damage to life and property has not been forthcoming.

Current Issues:

Members of the Hindu minority in Pakistan fear persistent harassment at the hands of religious extremists and complain that there is little official protection accorded to them. Hindu activists argue that ‘secret files are kept on them and their integrity is always in question. They are not allowed into the armed forces, the judiciary or responsible positions in the civil service’. These allegations are substantiated by the facts, which reflect an almost negligible Hindu presence in the higher echelons of the administration, bureaucracy and armed forces. Discrimination and prejudice against the Hindus is reinforced by the religious orthodoxy, within educational institutions as well as by the state-controlled media. As a consequence of the oppression and discrimination, the last two decades have seen a steady exodus of Hindus from Pakistan. This exodus, however, has left behind a community that is most vulnerable and in urgent need of socio-economic protection.

pakistan-the-hell

A significant proportion of the Hindus within the province of Sindh are the so-called untouchables, the Scheduled Caste Hindus. As haris these Scheduled Caste Hindus make up part of the pool of landless bonded labour of the province of Sindh. Sindh’s agricultural wealth, to a large extent, has depended on the intensive and strenuous work of bonded labour in producing hugely profitable cash crops such as sugar cane. While huge profits are made by the wealthy landlords, this landless bonded labour, consisting of substantial number of Scheduled Caste Hindus, continues to suffer from abject poverty. They remain tied to the land where they are forced to work literally as slaves. The landlords ensure that these bonded labourers and their future generations remain illiterate and unable in any way to challenge the unfair system of exploitation. The National Assembly of Pakistan abolished bonded labour through the Bonded Labour Abolition Act 1992. However, the banned practices continue to thrive in many parts of Sindh; officials remain reluctant to interfere for fear of incurring the wrath of powerful ruling families.

Hindus who do manage to break the vicious cycle of repression of bonded labour, nevertheless fail to gain any support from the general community. Existing taboos and rampant discrimination ensure that their employment prospects are confined to menial labour as Jamadars. Recent reports suggest increasing harassment and intimidation of women belonging to these Hindu communities. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, during 1998 a number of disturbing cases came to light where Hindu women have been kidnapped, raped or forcibly converted to Islam. With overt, state-sponsored discrimination and repression, the Hindus of Pakistan remain deprived of their fundamental human rights. The Hindus are ‘unwanted’ and ‘unwelcome’ and continue to be associated with India. During the recent armed uprising in Baluchistan (2005-6) members of the small Hindu community were targeted and attacked by the Security Forces. All Hindus residing in the town of Dera Bugti were forced to take refuge either in the Sui region of Baluchistan or other provinces of Pakistan. The attacks resulted in the deaths of 33 Hindus, mostly men and young children.

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As with Christians, Hindus too constantly face the issue of forced conversion. Minority groups have expressed concerns about the persecution of Hindus and threats to their places of worship. In 2007 the only Hindu temple in Lahore was demolished to make way for a commercial building.

In July 2010, around 60 members of the minority Hindu community in Karachi were attacked and evicted from their homes following an incident of a Hindu youth drinking water from a tap near an Islamic mosque.[69][70] A leader of the Karachi Hindu community, Amarnath Motumal, states that at least 20 to 25 girls are abducted and converted to Islam against their will every single month.[71][72][73] In January 2014, a policeman standing guard outside a Hindu temple at Peshawar was gunned down.[74] Pakistan’s Supreme Court has sought a report from the government on its efforts to ensure access for the minority Hindu community to temples – the Karachi bench of the apex court was hearing applications against the alleged denial of access to the members of the minority community.[75][76][77]

In Pakistan, anti-Hindu sentiments and beliefs are widely held among many sections of the population. There is a general stereotype against Hindus in Pakistan. Hindus are regarded as “miserly”.[78] Also, Hindus are often regarded as “Kaffirs” (lit. “unbelievers”) and blamed for “causing all the problems in Pakistan”.[79] Islamic fundamentalist groups operating within Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan have broadcast or disseminated anti-Hindu propaganda among the masses,[80] referring to Hindus as “Hanood” (‘Hindu’ issingular and Hanood is plural form in Urdu) blaming them for “collaborating with the foreigners” against the people of the region.

The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), a coalition of Islamist political parties in Pakistan, calls for the increased Islamization of the government and society, specifically taking an anti-Hindu stance. The MMA leads the opposition in the national assembly, held a majority in the NWFP Provincial Assembly, and was part of the ruling coalition in Balochistan. However, some members of the MMA made efforts to eliminate their rhetoric against Hindus.[81]

Teaching Hate against Non-muslims:

pakistani school teach hate of hindus

In 2011 the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) released a report on the public schools and Madrassas in Pakistan. The study concluded:

  • Public school textbooks used by all children often had a strong Islamic orientation, and Pakistan’s religious minorities were referenced derogatorily or omitted altogether;
  • Hindus were depicted in especially negative terms, and references to Christians were often inaccurate and offensive;
  • Public school and madrassa teachers had limited awareness or understanding of religious minorities and their beliefs, and were divided on whether religious minorities were citizens;
  • Teachers often expressed very negative views about Ahmadis, Christians, and Jews, and successfully transmitted these biases to their students;
  • Interviewees’ expressions of tolerance often were intermixed with neutral and intolerant comments, leaving some room for improvement.[39]

Anti-Hindus in Pakistan

According to the Sustainable Development Policy Institute report ‘Associated with the insistence on the Ideology of Pakistan has been an essential component of hate against India and the Hindus. For the upholders of the Ideology of Pakistan, the existence of Pakistan is defined only in relation to Hindus, and hence the Hindus have to be painted as negatively as possible’[89] A 2005 report by the National Commission for Justice and Peace a non profit organization in Pakistan, found that Pakistan Studies textbooks in Pakistan have been used to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy-makers have attempted to inculcate towards the Hindus. ‘Vituperative animosities legitimise military and autocratic rule, nurturing a siege mentality. Pakistan Studies textbooks are an active site to represent India as a hostile neighbour’ the report stated. ‘The story of Pakistan’s past is intentionally written to be distinct from, and often in direct contrast with, interpretations of history found in India. From the government-issued textbooks, students are taught that Hindus are backward and superstitious.’ Further the report stated ‘Textbooks reflect intentional obfuscation. Today’s students, citizens of Pakistan and its future leaders are the victims of these partial truths’.[90][91][92][93]

hindus hatred in pakistan

An editorial in Pakistan’s oldest newspaper Dawn commenting on a report in The Guardian on Pakistani Textbooks noted ‘By propagating concepts such as jihad, the inferiority of non-Muslims, India’s ingrained enmity with Pakistan, etc., the textbook board publications used by all government schools promote a mindset that is bigoted and obscurantist. Since there are more children studying in these schools than in madrassahs the damage done is greater. ‘[94][95] According to the historian Professor Mubarak Ali, textbook reform in Pakistan began with the introduction of Pakistan Studies and Islamic studies by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1971 into the national curriculum as compulsory subject. Former military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq under a general drive towards Islamization, started the process of historical revisionism in earnest and exploited this initiative. ‘The Pakistani establishment taught their children right from the beginning that this state was built on the basis of religion – that’s why they don’t have tolerance for other religions and want to wipe-out all of them.’[95][96]

According to Pervez Hoodbhoy, a physics professor at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, the “Islamizing” of Pakistan’s schools began in 1976 when an act of parliament required all government and private schools (except those teaching the British O-levels from Grade 9) to follow a curriculum that includes learning outcomes for the federally approved Grade 5 social studies class such as: ‘Acknowledge and identify forces that may be working against Pakistan,’ ‘Make speeches on Jihad,’ ‘Collect pictures of policemen, soldiers, and national guards,’ and ‘India’s evil designs against Pakistan.’[97]

The bias in Pakistani textbooks was studied by Rubina Saigol, Pervez Hoodbhoy, K. K. Aziz, I. A. Rahman, Mubarak Ali, A. H. Nayyar, Ahmed Saleem, Y. Rosser and others.

A study by Nayyar & Salim (2003) that was conducted with 30 experts of Pakistan’s education system, found that the textbooks contain statements that seek to create hate against Hindus. There was also an emphasis on Jihad, Shahadat, wars and military heroes. The study reported that the textbooks also had a lot of gender-biased stereotypes. Some of the problems in Pakistani textbooks cited in the report were:

Insensitivity to the existing religious diversity of the nation”; “Incitement to militancy and violence, including encouragement of Jihad and Shahadat”; a “glorification of war and the use of force”; “Inaccuracies of fact and omissions that serve to substantially distort the nature and significance of actual events in our history”; “Perspectives that encourage prejudicebigotry and discrimination towards fellow citizens, especially women and religious minorities, and other towards nations” and “Omission of concepts … that could encourage critical self awareness among students”. (Nayyar & Salim 2003). The Pakistani Curriculum document for classes K-V stated in 1995 that “at the completion of Class-V, the child should be able to “Understand Hindu-Muslim differences and the resultant need for Pakistan. [p. 154]

jihad against hindus

A more recent textbook published in Pakistan titled “A Short History of Pakistan” edited by Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi has been heavily criticized by academic peer-reviewers for anti-Hindu biases and prejudices that are consistent with Pakistani nationalism, where Hindus are portrayed as “villains” and Muslims as “victims” living under the “disastrous Hindu rule” and “betraying the Muslims to the British”, characterizations that academic reviewers fond “disquieting” and having a “warped subjectivity”.[84][85][86]

Ameer Hamza, a leader of the banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba, wrote a highly derogatory book about Hinduism in 1999 called “Hindu Ki Haqeeqat” (“Reality of (a) Hindu”); he was not prosecuted by the Government.[87]

Hindus are often referred to as “na pak” in Pakistan, meaning the “impure.” It can also be interpreted to mean that they are not truly Pakistani, in effect denationalising them.[13]

Hindus life remain in Poverty:

poor pakistani hindus in povertySindh Pakistan: where half of the population is Hindu, 84.7% people lived under the poverty line. In 2012-13, the figure stood at 80.7% and in 2010-11 75.9%..

In Sindh’s Umarkot district, where half of the population is Hindu, 84.7% people lived under the poverty line. In 2012-13, the figure stood at 80.7% and in 2010-11 75.9%. In Thatta, 78.5% people live in poverty while the rate was 76.5% in 2012-13.

Few districts in Sindh have seen progress in alleviating miseries of people. Some showed a slight improvement one year but the situation deteriorated the next year. A slight change in weather or an untoward incident pushes the people back to extreme poverty. In Tharparkar, some progress was achieved over the years but the district slipped back into the negative trend. In 2008-9, 92.1% lived in poverty, 91.6% in 2010-11 and 84.6% in 2012-13. But in 2014-15, the figure increased to 87%.

Statistics for Nawabshah, Naushero Feroz and Mirpurkhas also show similar trends. However Jamshoro is among a few districts witnessing a steady improvement over the year.
It’s been over 65 years of Independence and Hindus situation getting worse day by day, its mostly due to rule by extremist landlords and corrupt politicians, fate of Hindus in Sindh Pakistan!

Indian Visa for Pakistani Hindus

Sad news for Pakistani Hindus.. If India does not help then who is there?
Thousands of Pakistanis wanting to cross the border to meet their families are finding it difficult to come to India as every second visa application was rejected this year. The increasing proportion of declined visas has prompted Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to enquire from New Delhi the reasons for a large number of requests being turned down.
With nearly 53 per cent applications rejected this year, there is a big jump in the proportion of visas being denied in the last two years – 24 per cent in 2015 and 17 per cent in 2014.

pakistani hindu refugee in India

In a recent communication to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Bambawale has raised concerns about the increasing proportion of visa applications being rejected.
“I would be grateful if the reasons for the drastic increase in rejected visas can be ascertained and conveyed. If there is no plausible reason for drastic visa reductions then please do help in ensuring that the proportion rejected visas is retained,” he wrote.
Out of 33,191 applications received this year till May 31, 17,581 were rejected.
The number of visas declined was 9,335 out of 38,557 applications in 2015 and in 2014, 8,910 visas were denied out of 50,338 applications.

Officials said expediting the lengthy visa procedure is on the cards but security concerns cannot be overlooked.

Hindus (Pakistani) Refugee in India

Unnoticed figure that Pakistani Hindus live in 400 refugee camps across the nation(India), including in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Raipur Rajkot, Bhopal and Delhi. In 2015, a reported official estimate of Hindu and Sikh refugees in India stood at 200,000.

hindu refugee in IndiaTherefore, Pakistani Hindus migrate or flee to India – the country with the world’s largest population of Hindus. However, living in India as a Pakistani migrant or refugee can involve new challenges. “When I lived in Pakistan, I lived as a Hindu, [but] when I migrated to India in search of safety and dignity, I have been given a cold shoulder for being a Pakistani,”a refugee is quoted as saying in Scroll.in, a news web site. In addition to having to deal with India’s perceptions of their identity, many immigrants have to deal with life in refugee camps. Significant populations of Pakistani Hindus live in 400 refugee camps across the nation, including in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Raipur Rajkot, Bhopal and Delhi. Descriptions of the Pakistani Mohalla camp in Delhi in news reports reveal serious problems: the community of aspiring citizens has to live with limited resources and a lack of sanitation infrastructure, and there are families living on daily wages.

Why the Hindu population in Pakistan are decreasing?

According to the That the United States of America rescind the non-NATO major ally status designation for Pakistan“Four primary themes that emerge most strongly as constituting the bulk of the curricula and textbooks…are that Pakistan is for Muslims alone; Islamiat is to be forcibly taught to all the students, whatever their faith, including compulsory reading of Qu’ran; the ideology of Pakistan (sic) is to be internalised as faith, and hate be created against Hindus and India; and students are to be urged to take the path of Jehad and Shahadat.” Further, “Associated with the insistence on the Ideology of Pakistan has been an essential component of hate against India and the Hindus…” 

Hindus have to pay regular money as a type of ransom to local member of the political party or blackmailers in exchange for safety of their family(s) and themselves.

A large portion of the roughly 2 million Hindus in Pakistan are constrained to pay normal entireties, as a kind of ransom, to blackmailers and local leaders in return for the physical security of their families and themselves. It is customary way of thinking that no employment higher than a clerk’s post might be gotten by a Hindu. Moreover, Hindus need a muslim partner (silent partner) to open or run a business.

There have been various attacked on Hindus temples, target killing, kidnapping and demanding of huge money as ransoms, abduction of Hindus girls and boys then end up in ‘madrasas’ as new identity as Muslim. Even though, many cases had been registered but there is no action been taken to solve the situation. However Hindus population, from the data which is available on the internet from different organisations that Hindus in Pakistan in 1947, were estimated from 15 – 24% and in 2015 the Hindus population less than 2%. Furthermore, the Hindus temples are also less in Pakistan compare to before, many of them are destroyed, desecrated, taken illegally and converted to homes/government offices or converted into Madrasas.

What need to achieve:

  • Raise voice against kidnapping, target killing, attacks, force conversion, bounded labors, persecution, ransom, temple attacks and any type of violence against Hindus and minorities in Pakistan
  • To promote Hinduism, religious actives, education for girls and any kind of help to better the community
  • To stop extremism and arise the issues and try to provide solution faced by the Hindus in Pakistan
  • To expose the culprit/Zamidar/Wadera and local members of political parties
  • To provide and share useful information which can benefits the community

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E: hinduismpakistan@yahoo.com or by filling contact form: Contact Us

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Read also: Articles on Hindus situation in Pakistan

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