Skip to comments.Pakistani Hindus seek safety in India
Posted on 03/08/2012 6:28:36 AM PST by Cronos
KARACHI: Preetam Das is a good doctor with a hospital job and a thriving private clinic, yet all he thinks about is leaving Pakistan, terrified about a rise in killings and kidnappings targeting Hindus.
A successful professional, he lives in Karachi with his wife and two children, but comes from Kashmore, a district in north of Sindh. His family has lived there for centuries, and in 1947, when the sub-continent split between India, a majority Hindu state, and Pakistan, a homeland for Muslims, Das grandparents chose to stay with the Muslims. They fervently believed the promise of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that religious minorities would be protected. Sixty years later, their grandson says life in Kashmore had become unbearable.
The situation is getting worse every day, he says. Two of his uncles have been kidnapped and affluent Hindus are at particular risk from abduction gangs looking for ransom, he says.
Rights activists say the climate is indicative of progressive Islamisation over the last 30 years that has fuelled an increasing lack of tolerance to religious minorities, too often considered second-class citizens. Das says the only thing keeping him in Pakistan is his mother. She has flatly refused to migrate, which hinders my plans. I cant go without her, he said.
Hindus make up 2.5 percent of the 174 million people living in Pakistan. Over 90 percent lived in Sindh where they were generally wealthy and enterprising, making them easy prey for criminal gangs.
An official at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, who declined to be named said, Every month about eight to 10 Hindu families migrate from Pakistan. Most of them are well-off. He had no comment on whether the number was on the rise, but Hindu community groups in Pakistan said more people were leaving because of kidnappings, killings and even forced conversions of girls to Islam. Two of my brothers have migrated to India and an uncle to the UAE, said Jay Ram, a farmer in Ghotki. Its becoming too difficult to live here. Sindhis are the most tolerant community in the country vis-a-vis religious harmony, but deteriorating law and order is forcing them to move unwillingly, he added.
Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council and a former lawmaker for Sindh province, said Hindus were picked on by kidnappers and that their daughters were subject to forced conversions to Islam. Every now and then we get reports of families migrating. Its getting worse now. People are extremely harassed and are forced to leave their homeland but our rulers are shamelessly idle, he told AFP. Rights activists also say Hindus in Sindh were discriminated against. Recently 37 members of five Hindu families migrated to India from Thul town owing to discrimination, while three Hindus, including a doctor, were murdered in Shikarpur district, said Rubab Jafri, who heads Sindhs Human Rights Forum. Lots of violent incidents are happening daily. Most go unreported, which shows vested interests are trying to force Hindus to leave Pakistan. According to the Pakistan Hindu Seva, a community welfare organisation, at least 10 families had migrated from Sindh every month since 2008, mostly to India, but in the last 10 months, 400 families had left. Another survey last year by the local Scheduled Caste Rights Movement said more than 80 percent of Hindu families complained that Muslims discriminated against them by using different utensils when serving them at food stalls.
Thoroughly escapes me why there are any Hindus still living in Pakistan. I thought all of them had enough brains to move east when they partitioned in 1947.
Well, there ya have it. So put your family at risk to make your Mom happy but quit complaining.
He sounds so smart until you get to that last comment.
Several years ago, our church had a pastor from Pakistan. He grew up in Karachi and after graduating from college was offered a good job with Pakistan’s state radio broadcasting agency. However, to get the job, he would have had to convert to Islam, which he wasn’t about to do, so he came to the US and wound up a Methodist minister.
Pakistan is a gangster state. Its also not a natural state, made up of various tribal, ethnic and religious factions. Its greatest exports are illiterate workers and jihadis. It uses its nukes not only to threaten India, but also to indirectly threaten the West, who support the fiction of a friendly Pakistan due to the fear of “loose nukes.”
Moreover, Pakistan will also ensure that Afghanistan returns to a pre-9/11 condition once the US departs
It is time to recognize this, and encourage Pakistan to disintegrate into its various tribal and ethnic factions and manage them that way. The US and the world will be better off in the end.
I too have spoken with several Pakistani Christians, a group that has truly been persecuted.
A good rule of thumb is that about the time you think it might be time to move, you should have moved a couple of years ago.
Moving to India, probably won't help much....like Jews who left Germany for Holland in the 1930s.
Islam is just evil.
Neither, of course, is India. It has a great deal more diversity (religious, cultural, linguistic) than the EU, which is in the process of falling apart.
About the only thing India (or Pakistan or Bangladesh) ever had in common was propinquity and common subjection to the British.
Many decades ago my parents left behind every thing and came over to India as refugees from Pakistan with literally nothing but the clothes behind their backs. And for days they lived without food. I thank them or that. Today I am doing much better then 99% of the people in Pakistan.
“Moving to India, probably won’t help much”
Are there still plenty of Muslims in India who will attack Hindus?
Wrong. That's because the only part of Indian history you know of had to do with British India. I can bet you know nothing about the Mauryan empire, Gupta empire, Delhi sultanate, Mughal empire.... each of them lasted much longer then British empire. A north Indian would have a much easier time talking to a Pakistani (an even a Bangladeshi) then say a south Indian (say Tamil). North Indians and Pakistani share same language and cultural habits. Same with Bengalis from India and Bangladeshis.
For every Muslim how many Hindus do you think India has?
And if not India, where do you think the Hindu should go?... To US? I am sure US immigration is dying to embrace 4 Million grubby impoverished Hindus from Pakistan with open arms right?
Quite familiar with each. While each may have lasted longer than British Empire, with rare exceptions they expanded from a small base, conquered a large area they controlled for only a relatively brief time, then contracted. AFAIK, none ever controlled the full extent of the territory of the British raj.
My point was probably not worded well. I was trying to say that the inhabitants of India did indeed not have much in common with each other more than with Pakistanis or Bengalis. IOW, all three countries are not “normal” nation-states in the sense France and Germany are.
They’re somewhat arbitrary collections of peoples who have little more in common with each other than with those across the (somewhat artificial) borders.
In many cases those borders run where they do based on the whim of a particular Rajah. If that isn’t “artificial” I can’t see what would be.
Although what you term as “whims of a Rajah” has aspects of truth relevant to the history of India, the overwhelming cultural commonality among the various regions comprising the country today ensures its unity. If not for this fact, the myriad pilgrimages crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country would not have been possible. Not to mention religious movements which began in one place and spread to the rest (check up about this dude called Adi Shankaracharya). Or political reformers who did the same thing.
Language-based conflict is practically extinct in India today, which is an achievement that could only possible due to the cultural commonality mentioned earlier, an acceptance of a common nationality among the overwhelming majority of the people. The recent conflict in the borders, when Pakistan sent irregulars to occupy the remote Himalayan outposts, which sparked off a war to drive them out, saw immense support from all parts of the country, especially from the south, which is about 2000 miles away, signifying the unity quite vividly. The terror attacks do the same thing, too.
You simply cannot compare the European situation with India, because conflicts in this part of the world does not arise out of language differences. By the way, Britain “ruled” India through local Princely States - whom the former kept pampered in exchange for allegiance. And Pakistani Hindu refugees who moved into India in 1947 and around that period are among the most successful people in India today. Probably something about forcibly migrated societies that make them yearn success much more than others.
British raj also never controlled full extent of the territory but large portion were contracted to the 525 Principalities held by Maharajas.
Of all the empires I mentioned, The British Empire had the least impact on an average Indian in a cultural sense. For most of the British raj, hardly 5% of Indians people spoke English (that number grew only at the fag end of the Raj and after Independence). For most of the population, British culture and habits were only a mystery....that they sometimes looked at with awe and at times loathed or feared. But common familiarity with British language and culture as a binding influence over India is total nonsense.
“IOW, all three countries are not normal nation-states in the sense France and Germany are.”
Only if you consider linguistic, racial homogeneity as the only basis for “nation-state” which is a very narrow definition. India is very much a normal natural nation-states. Pakistan and Bangladesh are not (even though they are much more homogeneous then India).