The mainstream media and the international human rights community pays little attention to this. They would only be interested if the roles were reversed. Then it would be the subject of daily headlines about the “genocide” against Muslims.
ISLAMABAD: Around 5,000 Hindus migrate from Pakistan to India and other countries every year due to religious persecution, ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) lawmaker Ramesh Kumar Wankwani has told the Pakistani National Assembly.
“During last two months, six incidents of religious desecration happened only in Sindh province. In all incidents, religious books of Hindu minority and their places of worship were burnt,” said Wankwani, who also heads the Pakistan Hindu Council.
He said the government has so far neither made arrests nor taken action against any extremist group involved in attacks. “No one from the minority community feels safe in Pakistan,” he said on Monday while commenting on law and order situation in the country.
He blamed the government for failing to control frequent attacks against Hindus and maintained it was the community’s constitutional right to practice its religion freely in Pakistan.
“But the rights of Hindus have never remained a priority here. The problems of Hindus are multiplying in Pakistan instead of decreasing. Are we not part of this country?” he questioned.
He said it was the teaching of all the religions to respect other faiths but the minorities had failed to get equal rights in Pakistan.
The lawmaker informed the house that scores of Hindu women have been abducted in last few years in Sindh province and later married to their kidnappers after forcible conversion. He urged the government to take steps to counter it.
Wankwani asked why issues of minorities never came up for discussion in the house. “When Jinnah’s residence was attacked and destroyed in Ziarat town of Baluchistan, the National Assembly had debated on the issue for four consecutive days,” he said.
“I request the house to spare some time for taking up the problems faced by minorities.” He said Hindus are also equal citizens of Pakistan and their holy books should also be considered equally respectful.
Wankwani suggested the government to set up a parliamentary committee to discuss issues related to minorities in this regard.
There was a pin-drop silence in the house as all legislators attentively listened to his emotional speech.
Later, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed said the government will ensure the protection of minorities at all cost as it is mentioned in the Constitution.