Abduction cases, forced conversions frighten Hindus

Published: March 19, 2012

Around 50 families reported to have migrated from Quetta. DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

QUETTA: Forced conversions to Islam and increasing incidents of kidnapping have instilled a deep sense of insecurity among the Hindu community in Balochistan, said Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Basant Lal Gulshan.

As many as four girls and three boys of the Hindu community forcibly converted to Islam in 2011. “At least 50 Hindu families have migrated from Quetta alone,” Gulshan told The Express Tribune. “The families migrated to rural Balochistan and Sindh because their rights were not safeguarded in Quetta.”

The minister claimed that investigations have not begun in the conversion cases reported in Loralai, Chaman and Sibi.

He criticised the Balochistan government for its lack of interest on minority rights and said: “I took up the issue with Chief Minister Aslam Raisani and also discussed it on the provincial assembly floor, but they are not serious in addressing the grievances of minorities.”

He added that at least 25 people of his community have been kidnapped for ransom this year. “There were 55 cases last year and we are witnessing a sharp rise this year.”

Dr Rajesh Kumar, a pharmacist, was kidnapped in broad daylight from outside the Bolan Medical College Complex in Quetta approximately one and half month ago. His whereabouts are still unknown.

According to a rough estimate, around 200,000 Hindus reside in different parts of Balochistan and most of them are either businessmen or traders. “Criminals consider Hindus an easy target for earning money.”

Gulshan assured that as a member of the provincial cabinet, he will continue to raise his voice for his community, regardless of his reservations being ignored. “My colleagues in the cabinet often say that this is not happening only with Hindus and that Muslims are being kidnapped as well. In some way, they justify the abductions.”

In a statement, the Human Rights Organisation of Pakistan (Balochistan chapter) expressed strong concern over the kidnapping of Hindus and urged the government to curb this menace. The kidnapped pharmacist was also a member of the HRCP. They organisation has blamed influential people for the kidnappings.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Faesal
    Mar 19, 2012 - 11:07AM

    Pakistan is the reason Islam is hated in most parts of the world. How I wish Pakistan never was created on religious grounds. I am glad my ancestors remained back in India. We form 14% of India’s population and enjoy much more freedom and better quality of life.

    Please respect minorities. Come up with a law against conversion.

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  • Mar 19, 2012 - 11:16AM

    This Islamization is eroding our society, our values and our culture.

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  • Atheist
    Mar 19, 2012 - 11:17AM

    Shows why Hindus have suffered always and will continue to do so, their bovine nature is going to lead to their destruction. If they can’t fight for their rights themselves then they somewhat deserve it.

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  • WorriedSick
    Mar 19, 2012 - 11:19AM

    The Pakistani mindset: ‘It’s not just you guys (the Hindus) who’re getting kidnapped, we’re (Muslims) getting kidnapped too. That makes everything OK.’

    May God save Pakistan from these fanatics. I hope, that one day, the common man will start seeing sense, start tolerating the presence of other religions/sects and get on with life. Where are the educated folks of Pakistan? What are you doing to save your country? Why is this happening?

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  • Ahmed HM
    Mar 19, 2012 - 11:41AM

    Where does ET get such remarkable pictures?

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  • Immortal
    Mar 19, 2012 - 11:42AM

    This is pathetic. no one should be forced to change his/her religion.

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  • Ahmed HM
    Mar 19, 2012 - 11:42AM

    This article has only 2 paras regarding forced conversion for which the investigation has not begun. Allah knows if it was the same Rinke Kumari case of whether its the ET fever of forcing forced conversion articles on its readers.

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  • Mar 19, 2012 - 12:23PM

    There is no truth in the story. We invite them peacefully ( or else). You can youtube for Zaid Hamid invitaion to hindus for Islam.How peaceful was it.

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  • Ravish
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:31PM

    According to World Minority Rights Report 2011, Pakistan ranks as the 6th worst country after some African states with respect to safety and rights of minorities. The report is for everyone to see: http://www.minorityrights.org/download.php?id=1011

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  • Som
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:40PM

    @Atheist:
    You remind me of some Nazi leaders. you justify a crime only because the criminals can do so.

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  • Sadia
    Mar 19, 2012 - 1:23PM

    @Atheist:
    so the Bosnians also ‘deserved’ what happened to them? I am disturbed that so callous a comment has made it past the moderators.

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  • Mar 19, 2012 - 1:27PM

    ET u just cant digest that those were not forced conversionsRecommend

  • vasan
    Mar 19, 2012 - 1:34PM

    Islam is a peaceful religion and does not force conversions. Is it???

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  • ZYX
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:04PM

    ET is working on an agenda and it’s propagandizing this minority oppression theme. Its time our intelligence agencies started looking into ET and what’s going on there.

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  • Mandeep Vaid
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:05PM

    Over-populated earth, increasing poverty, acute scarcity of water and food are the typical features of the today’s world. On the 19Th June 2009 BBC reported that officially one Billion humans starve in Asia and Africa. Unofficially?

    The inhuman conditions prevailing in Pakistan are as well the result of this growing poverty, material and moral poverty. Who can dare to predict the coming future of naked survival?

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  • HS
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:16PM

    We: can’t let our own live in peace, can’t let others live in peace :(

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  • Kazmis
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:44PM

    @Ali Salman Alvi:
    @Faesal:

    And other friends! India never accepted Pakistan, infiltrated in East Pakistan and now playing with Baluchistan, with the help of so many other powers of the world. Pakistan is fighting with them all alone. This war tactic is fair by all means.

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  • Muslim
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:52PM

    ET how would you define a ‘forced conversion’ to Islam? And I wonder why any Muslim would do that? Please explain, not as you explained this news.

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  • KMR Overseas
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:53PM

    Same thing happened in India for over one thousand years. Repeat in our modern time is abominable.

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  • WoW
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:02PM

    @Pakistan politics:
    You just cant digest that those were forced conversions.

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  • HHK
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:03PM

    @Faesal: We can understand ur frustration, don’t worry mind ur business in India.
    Extremism towards Islam is very different than Extremism towards violence, These people doing violence in the name of Islam and logically they are not Muslim. Please Educate people about true Islam.

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  • me
    Mar 19, 2012 - 4:00PM

    @Pakistan politics:

    You either lack common sense or you are a part of kidnapping group to justify these cases aren’t forced.

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  • pak
    Mar 19, 2012 - 4:03PM

    @ZYX.. For God sake don’t blame on ET. ET is just raising issue against justice which no other is raising.

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  • waqar
    Mar 19, 2012 - 5:33PM

    Where are the proofs that forced conversions happened ?
    IF it is happened that it is against the teachings of ISLAM but without any proof don’t write against ISLAM and Pakistan.

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  • dpd
    Mar 19, 2012 - 7:01PM

    Being a Hindu, I do not question ISLAM. The teachings of ISLAM and all other religions are PEACEFULL. It is the interpretation of ISLAM by people that is in question. The same applies to all the other religions. Man with all his profound knowledge and wisdom is but a FOOL thinking that HE knows IT ALL.

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  • KDP
    Mar 19, 2012 - 7:11PM

    “most of them are either businessmen or traders’ as quoted from this article is really impressive. It proves that minorities when not safe guarded or suppressed always try their best to educate their children and work hard to become prosperous thinking that that it will help them achieve somewhat equal status in the society. That is how Jews a tiny minority in the USA has become such an influential political, economical and cultural power

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  • Shabana
    Mar 19, 2012 - 8:05PM

    @WorriedSick:
    If u are so worried sick why donot you start taking action in the process of electing those who can abolish blasphemy laws and bring secularism in Pakistan.. At least being muslim you have a right to vote.

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  • Peace On Earth
    Mar 19, 2012 - 8:51PM

    The biggest problem is with Muslims who boast that they are part of the “greatest religion in the world”! I have traveled to other countries around the world and have never seen Christians, Hindus, Buddhist, or Jews boast about their religion but, Muslims are another story.

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  • sid
    Mar 19, 2012 - 10:22PM

    We should take it serious. Because it was observed before in SINDH and Punjab and now in Quetta. This News is not new and ET has nothing to do something personal. Good reporting ET. I will try to investigate it myself. I want PEACE on my country land. White part on my flag represents that it has equal space for non-Muslims to practice their religious activities. We should and we have to learn to respect other religions.

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  • hopelessPeople
    Mar 20, 2012 - 12:31AM

    @waqar: dude you supreme court took sou motu notice about forced conversion and you are still saying there is no proof. You elected minority ministers are raising this question every day and you are still saying there is no proof. You are ignorant and want to believe all is good when it’s NOT.

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