‘Threats to life and property compelling Hindus to leave’

"They go on visit visas but they never return. They will probably apply for asylum there."

Our Correspondent August 12, 2012


They were only a dozen in number yet they took to the streets to protest against religious persecution compelling non-Muslims to leave their motherland for better security.

Activists of Awami Party of Pakistan (APP) on Saturday raised concerns over migration of Hindus from Sindh and Balochistan because of threats to their lives and property. They protested against the government’s “failure to check systematic harassment of minorities at the hands of criminals and religious extremists”.

APP Senior Vice President Dr Hassan Nasir said recent Hindu migrations were a result of societal divisions on religious and ethnic grounds. He rejected claims that the 60 Hindu families were merely going for pilgrimage to India.

“They go on visit visas but they never return. They will probably apply for asylum there,” said Dr Nasir, adding that the families were compelled to take this step after discrimination against them spiralled out of control.

You’re forced to migrate when your property is damaged, you are deprived of your income and your lives are threatened and yet the state does not come forward to protect you, said the APP president. “In Pakistan, we have never been able to establish a culture of religious tolerance.”

He appealed to the chief justice to take a suo motu notice of the issue since the actions taken by the interior ministry were merely a “cover-up”. Dr Nasir also demanded that the government provide immediate security to non-Muslims.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.