Plights of Pakistani Hindus
Arrival of Hindu families, worst persecuted in the realm of Pakistan, into India is getting more and more common these days and how do they live there can be found from a single fact – even if duration of their VISA into India gets completed, they remain completely reluctant to revert to Pakistan. What can be the greater proof of ongoing Hindu persecution in Pakistan than this?
And as per as forms of Hindu persecutions is concerned, there is no end to it; it does range from setting Hindu properties to fire, desecrating and also despoiling Hindu religious places (temples and shrines) to illegal seizure of Hindu residences, kidnapping and ravishment of Hindu women (even in broad daylight). If the reader is in need of any authentic statistic, this dread reality may quench his/her thirst. Hindu population in Pakistan (1951) was 22% and it has come down to a mere 2% by now.
In recent months, 480 Hindus from Pakistan (with VISA), allegedly to join Kumbh Mela, came to India through the India-Pakistan border at Rajasthan. But even after completion of their staying in India they are reluctant to go back. They are in search of political asylum in India.
Nevertheless, granting political asylum to any foreign national has its own consequences as well – legally, it does indicate that the asylum provider strongly opposes attitude of the indigenous governance to the very foreign national. Naturally, to steer clear of controversies in the global political arena, India prefers to pass up all these. It must also be noted, political asylum is granted in special circumstances only. In that case, it would have been best for the Indian government to pack off these Hindus to Pakistan.
But Pakistan is not a simple issue and albeit, relation between India and Sri Lanka or Myanmar remains uncongenial, it fails to match the relation between India and Pakistan; enmity of six decades had rendered it a historic characteristic. Hence, the first and foremost responsibility of India should be to evaluate this crisis in a different perspective. Perhaps, India is following the same at the moment. The Union Government of India is focusing on the entire issue from a humanitarian perspective and it’s no wonder to us.
It has been learnt, even though VISA duration of Pakistani Hindus ended by the first week of April, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India has increased it for another month.
Without doubt, this is a cruel reality, following the partition of Indian subcontinent on religious basis, Hindus, in throngs, moved from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan to India. This has led to huge reduction in Hindu population in both countries. Hindu properties, deserted thus, were just seized by Muslim radicals.
Bangladesh, under Awami League Government of Sheikh Hasina Wazed, by nullifying “Enemy Property Law”, has made the approach (even if it’s theoretical yet) to return their ancestral properties to Hindu refugees. Unfortunately, any such approach is yet to take place in Pakistan and in the modern environment, it is a bleak prospect.
The obligation of India, at this point in time, would be to evaluate the entire development from a different perspective.
If the official tour of Pakistan to India can be cancelled, India must adopt same stance in this case too. There is also the need of highlighting Pakistani Hindu refugees’ pleas and their desperation to have political asylum in India in diplomatic level.