Friday, October 22, 2010

Being a Hindu in Pakiistan

Tough times for the hindus of pakistan

Note for WoP readers: Marvi Memon is an emerging young leader in the politics of Pakistan. She is brilliant, tactful and carries a lot of chic in her persona. While speaking, she outwits her political opponents.
I personally always love watching her usual bouts with PPP walas and the ‘N’errs [of PML-N]. But as far as her political performance during Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorial regime is concerned, it always baffled me how this sensible, talented young lady could so comfortably sit with usurper Pervez Musharraf, who dictated and degraded this country like no one in the history, could ever have done.
 The talent that Marvi has is unique. As said she performs superb whether its a table talk, a discussion forum, electronic media or the platform of the National assembly of Pakistan. Everywhere she performs marvelous. Her advocacy on the rights of Gilgit Baltistan was immensely convincing.
 This time Marvi comes with another pertinent issue, another malaise i.e. the plight of the Pakistani Hindus.
 Its pitiable neigh condemnable that the Hindus of Pakistan sheltered so many of their countrymen during recent floods [majority of them Muslims].Then these very Hindus did this as a manifest of their love for their motherland and for their countrymen. In this context, its too unfortunate that the same Hindus should be compelled to leave Pakistan for fear of losing their property, their honour or even their own or their kids’ lives.
Gosh, do we still live in those horrid times of 1947! [Nayyar]

by Marvi Memon

t’s not easy these days being a Hindu in Pakistan. The number of cases of members of the Hindu community being kidnapped for ransom is on the rise, both in Sindh and in Balochistan. While recently attending a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee for Law and Justice, I realised that a stringent law was already in place under which a person convicted of this offence could be sentenced to life in prison or even death. As usual, the discussion revolved around the fact that while we had good laws, they were not being implemented.

Personally, I am against capital punishment — and the logic is quite straightforward: since we don’t give life, we have no right to take it away. And hence life imprisonment is acceptable but not capital punishment. However, the rise in cases of kidnapping, often of children, has altered this view. Those who kidnap people for ransom need to be dealt with a heavy hand, more so because in Pakistan where we hardly ever see anyone punished for this crime. In August, before the floods had hit Sindh, I visited a Hindu Sindhi family in Kashmore whose six-year-old had been kidnapped. The state of the mother was enough to convince me to press for severe punishment as a deterrent to stop this kind of crime.

I was told that Hindus were being targeted because, by and large, they lacked political clout and made for easier targets. Furthermore, those involved in kidnapping for ransom often had connections to powerful people, and this explained why, in most instances, the kidnappers were never caught.

The tragedy is that as a result of these kidnappings, many Hindu families have migrated to India. After all, it is better to live in another country than in perpetual fear. This is the biggest failure of the so-called Islamic Republic of Pakistan — that its minorities don’t feel safe on their own soil.

Clearly, the government’s package, called ‘Aghaz-e-Huqooq Balochistan’ has not achieved much in that province. For instance, in 2009 a 13-year-old was kidnapped and released after a ransom of Rs1.8 million was paid. Another Hindu was kidnapped from the busy Sariab road and released after a ransom of Rs4.2 million was paid. A Hindu man was kidnapped and released after his family paid Rs1.5 million. A Hindu shopkeeper was asked to pay Rs6million at which point he migrated to India — this happened in August of this year. And this is just a partial list.

The Hindu community is peaceful — so what is its biggest sin? It is a minority in a land where there is no rule of law. All that is needed is the political will to go after those involved in these kidnappings — the incidents will stop and our Hindu compatriots will stop fleeing to India.
Source: Text and Image: Express Tribune 

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  1. It's not as if the ones that migrate to India have an easy time.

    Please see:

  2. “Teray majboor bandoñ ki na ye dunya na wo dunya”.
    I remember my visit once to Jacobabad and Kandhkot in Sindh province of Pakistan. It was interesting for me to see cities in Pakistan where there were statues of different Hindu gods and goddesses. In Punjab we can see such idols only in the museums. But here in Sindh the local Hindus had their deities before there entrance doors almost everywhere.
    I talked to one Rumesh. He was having a roaring business in general provisions. I asked him if he ever visited India and he said he visits India almost every year [to see his relatives]. I then asked whether he would like to opt for Indian citizenship because he would find majority of his coreligionists there and Rumesh surprisingly asked me. “Sieñ, how is it possible? To have coreligionists is one thing but to leave one’s motherland is totally a different thing. Why should I opt for Indian nationality? Sindu Dharti, the soil of Pakistan is my motherland, why should I leave it. I go to India to see a good number of friends and relatives and I love India but it’s not my motherland. I can visit that country thousand times but it can and will never become my janam bhoomi, my mother country, that is and will forever remain Pakistan, where am born, where my business is, where my people and my family is”. But those were the good old days Sidhu ji, when these US infested, US indoctrinated / sponsored deobandis and salfis had not had this country into their firm grip.
    This onslaught by religious reactionaries has not only destroyed the image of Pakistan but also turned this land of peace into a land of suicide attacks, kidnappings, bomb blasts and what not else.
    The tragedy is that poor Hindus, poor Sikhs and poor Muslims have no good life on either side of the border.
    For these poor the tragedy of 1947 is revisited again and again.
    Unfortunately the successive governments in Pakistan played into uncle Sam’s policy of containment of USSR [and she did succeed in that policy] but we the people of Pakistan had to pay its price which we are now paying in the form of religious extremism - encroaching upon the very state of Pakistan. But a still worse thing is happening in India too, which has now fallen into Yank’s trap of cordoning off China. The history is going to repeat once again. In the 80’s it was Pakistan playing into the hands of Americans and this time now India falling into the same trap. If Pakistan did not gain any thing from this policy, I wonder if India would or could get a better deal from the yanks!



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