[Reader-list] Hindu-Sikh Minorities in Pakistan: The Vanishing Communities

A.K. Malik akmalik45 at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 22 11:29:26 IST 2010

Dear Mr Durani,  
               If a similar thing is done in India to a Muslim girl,see all hell being loose. Protests will be 90% from Hindus and 10% from Muslims.This is price of Secularism in our country.Have you heard of any one making any noise on this news item?


--- On Mon, 3/22/10, Pawan Durani <pawan.durani at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Pawan Durani <pawan.durani at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Reader-list] Hindu-Sikh Minorities in Pakistan: The Vanishing Communities
> To: "reader-list" <reader-list at sarai.net>
> Date: Monday, March 22, 2010, 11:10 AM
> "In a recent investigative report it
> is described how young girls, as
> young as 12 or 13, have been kidnapped in Sind, converted
> to Islam,
> and forcibly married to Muslim boys. “Kidnapping Hindu
> girls like this
> has become a normal practice. The girls are then forced to
> sign
> stamped papers stating that they’ve become Muslims,”
> said Laljee
> Menghwar, a member of Karachi’s Hindu Panchayat (council
> of village
> leaders). At least twenty nine similar abduction cases have
> taken
> place in Karachi alone, and six in the Jacobabad and
> Larkana
> districts."
> Source : http://frontierindia.net/wa/hindu-sikh-minorities-in-pakistan-the-vanishing-communities/632/
> By Maloy Krishna Dhar | March 19th, 2010 | Category:
> Latest, Opinion
> and Editorials |
> I was inspired to write this essay by a Pakistani
> journalist friend.
> Later, during a lecture tour in South East Asian countries,
> where
> Indian and Chinese origin minorities are also discriminated
> I noticed
> that the minorities are palpably anguished. The latest
> incidents of
> organized attacks by Bengali Muslims on hill dwelling
> Chakma tribals
> in Khagrachari areas firmed up my decision to chronicle a
> preliminary
> account of the conditions of the non-Muslim minorities in
> Pakistan. I
> had earlier written a piece on the plight of the Pakistani
> Christians.
> I have not touched upon the plight of the Shia and
> Ahmadiya
> (non-Muslim) communities in Pakistan, which require
> international
> attention. Not a single Indian Muslim religious seminary
> has so far
> condemned Pakistan for inhuman treatment of the Shia and
> Ahmadiya
> communities.
> I am indebted to a member of the Pakistan Human Rights
> Commission and
> several young Pakistani writers who have boldly portrayed
> the pitiable
> condition of the minorities in Pakistan. Their voices are
> drowned in
> wilderness. The normal civil society members are also
> ashamed of these
> developments. However, I do not want to name them fearing
> visitations
> by the ISI goons.
> Jinnah had said in his speech to the new nation created,
> called
> Pakistan, on August 17, 1947 to assure that his fiefdom,
> for which he
> fought relentlessly and even organized the Great Direct
> Action Pogrom
> of Calcutta in August 1946, to assure the national
> minorities, after 3
> millions were killed in communal riots and several million
> escaped to
> the safety of Hindustan: “You are free; free to go to
> your temples,
> you are free to go to your mosques, or to any other place
> of worship
> in the State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or
> caste or
> creed-that has nothing to do with the business of the
> State…We are
> starting with this fundamental principles that we are all
> citizens and
> equal citizens of our State.”
> People conversant with Jinnah’s rise as a rabid communal
> Muslim leader
> (Jaswant Singh’s white washing aside) know that Jinnah
> Kathiawadi
> lived by deceit and died in neglect (recall his Quetta
> visit,
> breakdown of his car on way to Karachi and apathetic
> attitude of the
> people in power). He was not even a practicing Muslim (a
> Shia), but
> pleaded fanatic Muslim causes. He never tried to rescue
> Muslim
> politics from the clutches of the maulanas. He was the
> person who
> boycotted the 1937 interim governments in the Central
> Legislative
> Assembly and Congress led provinces. He fabricated or
> organized the
> fabrication of charges against Congress’ ruthless
> suppression of the
> Muslims. One after another memorandum was submitted to the
> Governor
> General; all bundles of lies. The grand finale of
> Jinnah’s bunches of
> lies and prevarication included Calcutta pogrom in
> collaboration with
> Suhrawardy government, deceitful refusal to sign the
> Mountbatten Plan
> for partition, backing out from original agreement that
> Mountbatten
> would be the common Governor General for India and Pakistan
> and
> finally throwing a grand inaugural lunch on 16th August, a
> day of
> Ramadan (later shifted to dinner).
> With such track record of prevarication, fabrication and
> falsehood
> Jinnah’s 17th August 1947 speech assuring the minority
> was then and
> even now treated as crocodile’s tears. If he were a
> democrat he would
> have not chosen the machetes to kill. He could not stop
> killing of the
> Hindu and other minorities in Pakistan even after he
> assumed the gaddi
> of the Governor General in true Hollywood style. Since
> Jinnah the
> Hindu minorities have continued to suffer in Pakistan and
> now they
> have become an endangered community. Those interested may
> read Jinnah
> of Pakistan by Stanley Wolpert and Mountbatten’s Report
> on the Last
> Viceroyalty, edited by Lionel Carter.
> For which Pakistan Jinnah had struggled? His idea of
> Pakistan was
> limited to the vision of Dr. Iqbal-whole of Punjab, Sind,
> Balochistan,
> NWFP, FATA areas and Kashmir. He had no plan for Bengal and
> Assam and
> other Muslim majority areas in India. Later the Bangistan
> theory of
> Chaudhry Rahmat Ali propelled the Pakistan protagonists to
> amalgamate
> Bengal and Assam and create the eastern wing of Pakistan.
> However, it must be said to the credit of Jinnah that in
> the absence
> of Dr. Iqbal and any other Muslim poet he could trust, he
> had
> commissioned a Hindu to write the original national anthem
> of
> Pakistan. India and Pakistan have another anomalous
> situation in
> common. Iqbal, the progenitor of Pakistan, had composed the
> national
> song Sare Jahan se Accha—. It is still used as one of the
> national
> songs. Jinnah, on the other hand had summoned Jagannath
> Azad, son of
> Lahore-based poet Tilok Chand Mahroom, just three days
> before the
> creation of Pakistan, to write the country’s first
> national anthem. It
> had stirred up a debate in that country. It is claimed that
> Jinnah
> sowed the seed of secularism by inviting Jagannath Azad to
> write the
> national anthem. However, Pakistan’s first national
> anthem composed by
> a Hindu was discarded by Pakistan in 1950. What a great
> disrespect to
> the father of the nation! Some leading Pakistani thinkers
> correctly
> said that Pakistan exists on the venom of anti-Hindu
> elixir.
> Demographic distribution of Hindus in Pakistan (source
> Wikipedia)
> At the time of Partition in 1947, the Hindu population of
> Pakistan was
> estimated at approximately a quarter of the total
> population. For
> example, the population of Karachi, Pakistan in 1947 was
> 450,000, of
> which 51% was Hindu, and 42% was Muslim. By 1951,
> Karachi’s population
> had increased to 1.137 million because of the influx of
> 600,000 Muslim
> refugees from India. In 1951, the Muslim population of
> Karachi was 96%
> and the Hindu population was 2%. In 1998, the Hindu
> population in all
> of Pakistan was 1.6%, and the most recent census would
> certainly be
> expected to demonstrate consistent dwindling demographic
> trends and
> further diminution of Hindu population.
> According to certain official estimates NWFP has slightly
> over 4,924
> Hindus, whereas in FATA area total known Hindu population
> is 1,921.
> After the rise of the Taliban in Pakistan and military
> operations
> hundreds of Hindus had escaped under dual pressure-demand
> of Jizya, a
> Sharia tax by the Taliban and army harassment.
> Pakistan’s Constitution, prima facie, provides for
> freedom of
> religion. In practice, however, the government imposes
> limits on this
> freedom by using several subterfuges. Since Pakistan
> proclaimed itself
> an Islamic republic at the time of independence, Islam has
> become a
> core element of the national ideology. Since the struggle
> for separate
> homeland for the Muslims was seemingly waged against the
> Hindus and
> not the British Pakistan’s political soul is filled with
> hatred
> against the Hindus. Thus, religious freedom is subject to
> law, public
> order, and morality as decided by the reigning government.
> Actions or
> speech deemed derogatory to Islam or to its Prophet are not
> protected.
> In addition, the Constitution requires that laws must be
> consistent
> with Islam and imposes some elements of Quranic law on both
> Muslims
> and religious minorities. This observation has been
> supported even by
> the U.S. State Department’s report on International
> Religious Freedom
> report of 2004. After spate of riots against the Pakistani
> Christians
> the IRF had expressed similar views.
> Government regulations and laws shaped by Islamic Sharia
> injunctions
> discriminate against the Hindu minority as well as other
> minorities in
> Pakistan. Section 295-C of the Pakistan penal code mandates
> the death
> sentence for blasphemy against the Prophet or desecration
> of the
> Koran. Dozens of blasphemy cases are pending in the courts,
> and the
> accused spend long periods in jails under brutal conditions
> once the
> accusation has been made, although most such allegations
> of
> desecration are the result of personal grudges. On March
> 24, 2005,
> Pakistan restored the discriminatory practice of mandating
> the mention
> of religious identity of individuals in all new passports.
> The
> Pakistan federal cabinet, with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz
> in chair,
> had directed the Ministry of Interior to reintroduce the
> rule after
> its repeal under the Zafaraullah Khan Jamali government.
> The move was
> seen as a concession to the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA),
> a coalition
> of hard-line religious parties that supported Pakistan’s
> former
> President General Pervez Musharraf.
> The rights of minorities continue to erode at an alarming
> pace in
> Pakistan. I.A. Rehman, Director of the Human Rights
> Commission of
> Pakistan, associates this erosion with the continued
> Islamization of
> Pakistan that President General Zia-ul-Haq initiated in the
> 1980s.
> Upon Pakistan’s declaration as an Islamic republic, the
> rights of
> religious minorities, particularly Hindus, Christians, and
> Ahmadiyas,
> diminished dramatically. These minorities live under the
> fear of
> threats to their lives and property, desecration of their
> places of
> worship, and the Blasphemy Act that carries a penalty of
> death.
> Nuzzhat Shirin of the Aurat Foundation adds, “It’s
> Muslims winning by
> intimidation. It’s Muslims overcoming a culture by
> threatening it, by
> abducting young girls so that an entire community moves out
> or
> succumbs to the Muslim murderers.”
> There are several instances of attacks against the Shias by
> the
> Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipha Sahaba, two hardcore Sunni
> militant
> outfits. “Justice M. Munir commission investigated the
> large-scale
> riots against the Ahmadiya sect in Pakistan in 1953. His
> report is an
> eye-opener. It shows that our ulema are not even able to
> agree on a
> definition of who a Muslim is. Justice Munir had called
> heads of all
> Islamic schools of thought and asked them the definition of
> a Muslim.
> No two ulema agreed. It also exposes the pusillanimity of
> our
> so-called scholars of Islam and their near-total disregard
> of the
> beauty and generosity of Islam.” Sultan Shahin, Editor,
> New age Islam.
> Violence against women in general continues throughout the
> world, but
> more so in Pakistan, particularly against Hindu women.
> Violence
> against women is rampant in the forms of rape, honor
> killings, and
> domestic abuse. In Pakistan, a woman is raped every two
> hours on
> average, and at least ten women a day die in honor
> killings. Moreover,
> Pakistan’s existing Hudood Ordinance is used to imprison
> thousands of
> women who report rapes. The Hudood Ordinances are a set of
> laws that
> were introduced by Presidential decree in 1979 under the
> then
> President General Zia Ul Haq. These laws were intended
> “to bring in
> conformity with the injunctions of Islam” certain aspects
> of the
> criminal justice system and make certain offences
> punishable by hadd,
> which is defined as “punishment ordained by the Holy
> Quran or Sunnah.”
> The quotations are from the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of
> Hudood)
> Ordinance, 1979, Ordinance No. VII of 1979, 9 February
> 1979, preamble
> and sec. 2(b), respectively. Hereinafter: Zina Ordinance. .
> The laws
> introduced under the Hudood Ordinances cover the offences
> of Zina
> (various forms of unlawful sexual intercourse) Qazf
> (wrongful
> accusation of Zina crimes), and offences Against Property
> and
> Prohibition. An offence of Zina occurs, under the
> Ordinance, whenever
> “a man and a woman… willfully have sexual intercourse
> without being
> validly married to each other.” Section 4 of the Zina
> Ordinance.
> Offences of rape are called Zina bil Jabr (literally
> meaning ‘forced
> adultery’ in the Arabic original) as they have occurred
> without the
> consent of the victim. Significantly, however, the Zina
> Ordinance
> excludes marital rape from the definition of that offence.
> According to the Ordinance, a rape victim must present four
> male
> witnesses to the crime in order to prove the rape occurred.
> If the
> victim is unable to do so, she is at risk for being whipped
> for
> adultery because she has acknowledged illicit sex, which is
> banned in
> Islam. Despite repeated calls by women’s rights and human
> rights
> groups for the reform and repeal of the Hudood Ordinance,
> the Pakistan
> government has yet to take action. Readers may have not
> forgotten the
> famous case of Mukhtar Mai that had created international
> indignation.
> Women, Muslim or Hindu, can expect very little from the
> majority
> sections of people in a country that still lives in the
> barbaric
> Middle Ages.
> Hindus continue to be the target of kidnappings, rape, and
> intimidation in Pakistan. There are reports of desecration
> and
> destruction of Hindu temples and lands, theft and looting
> of Hindu
> property, discrimination, abuse, and abduction of Hindu
> females.
> Unfortunately, few reports about specific and targeted
> human rights
> abuses against Hindus are available, not only due to the
> continued
> decreasing population of Hindus in Pakistan, but also
> because reports
> of such attacks are either poorly covered in the local
> media or
> completely ignored. In most cases police do not register
> cases
> reported by Hindu victims.
> A worrisome trend in Pakistan, particularly in the Sind
> province, is
> that of Muslims kidnapping Hindu girls and forcing them to
> convert to
> Islam. One of the most egregious cases of intimidation and
> kidnapping
> of young Hindu women occurred in September 2005. On
> September 14,
> Hindu parents alleged that four men abducted their daughter
> in Sind,
> and forced her to marry one of the accused and convert to
> Islam. The
> authorities arrested two of the abductors, but the court
> dismissed the
> case when the girl was forced to provide a legal statement
> that she
> willfully married and converted. Gayan Chand Singh, than a
> legislator
> in Pakistan’s Parliament, said that the kidnapping should
> be
> categorized as rape and should be registered as such an
> offense for
> the abductors.
> In a similar case, Sapna Giyanchand was taken to a shrine
> in the
> Shikarpur District by Shamsuddin Dasti, a Muslim married
> man and
> father of two children. The custodian of the shrine, Maulvi
> Abdul Aziz
> converted Sapna to Islam, changed her name to Mehek, and
> married her
> to Dasti. When Sapna’s case was presented in court,
> Muslim extremists
> deluged her with rose petals and chanted religious verses.
> Sapna,
> terrified by the setting, could not manage to speak to her
> parents,
> who were also present in court. Aziz, also in attendance,
> is claimed
> to have said, “How can a Muslim girl live and maintain
> contact with
> kafirs; non-believers of Islam?”
> In a recent investigative report it is described how young
> girls, as
> young as 12 or 13, have been kidnapped in Sind, converted
> to Islam,
> and forcibly married to Muslim boys. “Kidnapping Hindu
> girls like this
> has become a normal practice. The girls are then forced to
> sign
> stamped papers stating that they’ve become Muslims,”
> said Laljee
> Menghwar, a member of Karachi’s Hindu Panchayat (council
> of village
> leaders). At least twenty nine similar abduction cases have
> taken
> place in Karachi alone, and six in the Jacobabad and
> Larkana
> districts. Wasim Shahzad, the Minister of State for
> Interior, had
> upset legislators in the National Assembly when he was
> quoted by the
> state-run APP news agency as saying, “These incidents are
> taking place
> to force the Hindus to leave Pakistan where they have been
> living for
> the past 5,000 years.”
> In a shocking incident, it was reported that three young
> Hindu girls
> had suddenly converted to Islam. The three girls, Reena
> (21), Usha
> (19) and Rima (17) – daugh


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