Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State ….We have Hindus, Christians, and Parsis but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizen and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.” â€” Mohammed Ali Jinnah
Sixtysix years later Jinnah’s statement is supremely evident in the plight of the Hindus. Nowadays the Hindu minority in Pakistan is facing a lot of difficulties of different kinds. They are treated as inferior people and don’t have the same rights as the ‘normal’ Pakistani. Also the Human Rights of the Hindu minority are harshly being violated.
For example they are not free to go to their temples as they have been wilfully destroyed. They are not equal citizens of one state but victims of religious discrimination. They live in a state of perpetual dread with their daughters, property and religious places being constantly targeted for the only reason that they are not Muslim, but Hindu.
One of the greater problems of the Hindu community is the abduction, forced marriages and conversions of Hindu girls. According to a report prepared by the Asian Centre for Human Rights: “… kidnapping and then raping and forcibly marrying Hindu girls is a common practice in Pakistan. In the event where the police arrest the accused, they produce a certificate issued by any Muslim seminary that the kidnapped girls have voluntarily adopted Islam and they married the girls.” Also the report states that in the Sindh district every month 20 to 25 girls are being forcibly converted. Last year the case of Rinkel Kumari reached the international media. She is one of the many who has been abducted and forced to convert. Even nowadays the government of Pakistan didn’t take any measures to protect these girls.
Another problem is the Blasphemy laws. After being accused of Blasphemy, the Court has the option to give the defendant jail (up to life imprisonment) and even the death penalty. According to ‘the Joint NGO submission to the United National Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan on the situation for minorities in Pakistan‘ the Blasphemy laws are being abused by religious extremists against the religious minorities by making false accusations. This is possible because accused individuals are imprisoned without adequate investigation of proof. The report includes a list of several cases where there have been false accusations.
The international media reported several times in the last years that Hindu families fled the country to India because of the unbearable situation of Hindu’s in Pakistan. In April 2013 for example, 80off Hindu families left Pakistan to escape the persecution and try to find a dignified and peaceful life, which they can’t have in Pakistan. The government didn’t do anything to give these Hindu families a chance to a dignified life.
Violence against women, forced conversions, mass violence, temple destruction and economic and political marginalization are just a few problems of the Hindu minority in Pakistan. Every person has the right to have a peaceful life and that his or her (human) rights are respected. Therefore the Hindu Community in United Kingdom urges the following to the Government of Pakistan:
- To implement meaningful constitutional and legal reform to ensure equality and religious freedom for the Hindu Pakistani
- To protect the Hindu’s against different kinds of violence, such as abductions and forced conversions of Hindu girls anddestructions of Hindu temples
- To repeal or at least review the blasphemy laws.
- To remove all discriminatory references from the current educational curriculum and to foster interfaith harmony withinschools in Pakistan.
Alliance of Pakistani & British Hindus