These days it is becoming more and more difficult to be a Hindu in Pakistan. Hindus are known to be an educated and peaceful community and are heavily involved in commerce and business. I will not be exaggerating at all when I say that people from my community have been experiencing an increasing sense of insecurity in recent years.
And the reasons are clear. The increasing number of cases of kidnapping for ransom of Hindus, harassment and extortion of Hindu-owned businesses and conversions of young Hindu women to Islam, are the factors behind all this insecurity. The situation is so bad that Hindus are now not even worried about the discrimination they face in gaining decent jobs and so on — all they want is peace of mind and a sense of security.
They look to the government and to the state for the protection and safeguarding of their rights that are guaranteed to them by the country’s Constitution but they have found the response absent. Laws that are on the statute books for the protection of minorities are hardly, if ever, implemented and this had led to many Hindu families migrating out of Pakistan.
We should abide by the words and vision of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who said that the country would be a home for people of all faiths and that practice of one’s religion was a personal matter and would be protected by the state.
Dr Sunil Chohan
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2012.