Being Hindu in Pakistan

by Vijeth Shetty “Whatever might be the religion that you believe and follow, I will always respect it, but please don’t push your religious beliefs on me, because I don’t expect you to believe in what I believe”   story 1 inside                             Image Source Is it that difficult for one of the most intelligent species on this planet to accept each other’s diversity? As a child we are taught disciplines, to love and respect everyone, to take utmost care of our environment and morals for living a great life. As we grow and learn to assimilate into society, we find much divergence between what we were taught to what we see. Sometimes, righting the wrong becomes an expensive affair, so what do we do in such situations? Some choose to blend into the radicalisation and manmade atrocities, but few stand by their basic principles by going back to the very childhood values. Today, we raise our voice against the evils that minorities in Pakistan are facing trough a platform called ‘Hindu Dialogue’ Whether it be Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Ahmadis, Iranian Shias, Parsis everyone has suffered their share of trauma for being a minority in Pakistan. As per human rights commission of Pakistan report, every month around 25 Hindu minor girls get kidnapped, converted to Islam, raped and forcefully married. More shocking information comes now, the report says only 10 percent of the cases are reported to police and covered by media, one can estimate the magnitude of this massacre. 3.5 million Hindus in Pakistan, majorly from Sindh province are living in horror with uncertain future along with other minorities. Most of the victim’s family are threatened by Islamic radicals, and police too have failed to take stringent actions against the Islamic group. It looks like government’s ignorance is serving their very purpose. As per Pakistan Christian post, in year 2002 Muslim gun men threw grenades into Presbyterian Church during a Christian sermon and shot dead six people at a Christian charity in Karachi’s central business district. Hundreds of Islamic militant attacked Christian in Sangla Hills in Pakistan and destroyed Roman Catholic Church, Salvation Army and United Presbyterian Churches. The 2009 Gojra riots were a series of violent programs against Christian minorities by Muslims. These resulted in the death of eight Christians including four women and one child. The US report says, the already poor religious freedom environment for Christians, Ahmadis and Hindus has continued to deteriorate in Pakistan over the last eighteen months, according to a US body that monitors violations of religious freedom abroad. Releasing the findings of its Pakistan religious violence project, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said it had tracked 203 publicly-reported incidents of sectarian violence resulting in more than 1,800 casualties, including over 700 deaths. When a nation is run and driven by religious laws, and by all means government machinery has repeatedly failed leading to military (religious) rule in the past, considering Pakistan it is inevitable that the minorities will be at stake. Thanks to Pakistan’s hard-line blasphemy laws and the rise of radical Islamist outfits, including forced conversions, which have made the lives of minorities a living hell. They are left to perish; they are targeted and discriminated. Though Pakistan has started taking significant steps aimed at restoring democratic institutions, successive civilian governments - controlled by its powerful Army, ISI and radical clerics - have done little to protect minorities. When I interviewed a Melbourne resident, hailing from Pakistan he gave some eye opening truth. He says, minority killing and converting young girls are very common in Pakistan. Also, the rulers of the country support this heinous act in the name of Islam. He says, the very foundation of Islam is based on peace, but the current corrupt Pakistani politicians have made religion a weapon to be in power.  He also admits that most of the crimes against minorities are not covered by paid media. This clearly points at more untold minority killing and torture that are taking place within the political boundaries of Pakistan. By the time you finish reading this article, someone in Pakistan might be paying a heavy price for being a minority. Whereas, on the other side of the border (India) which is a Hindu majority country, minorities have prospered in all aspects of life, they play an important role in politics, science, education, sports, entertainment industry and have contributed to the India’s fastest growing economy. Worlds biggest democracy has elected current Prime minister and former President from minority sector of the society. Pakistan should have that will to replicate this inclusive model of governance in their country. Appropriate law enforcement and thorough investigations can put a full stop to minority killings. If I am born in Pakistan, I don’t have to be believe in certain religion to prove my love for the country. Non Muslims too belong to that land and they too have every right to live with peace. It is high time that human rights and other world organisations intervene in this matter and shun the ethnic wipe out plan by Pakistani radicals. ‘Hindu Dialogue’ team has perpetuated a kind thought of spreading this news across the globe, and we want all the readers to spread the news that Pakistani media and government had hidden from rest of the world. As a first step, we are being a part of global peaceful protest held outside Pakistani consulate against the ‘Atrocities on minorities in Pakistan’ ‘Awareness is empowering one another’

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