Persecution in Pakistan fills Hindus with dread, India concerned
New Delhi: Persecution of Hindus in Pakistan resonated in Lok Sabha on Monday with members voicing concern and asking the government to take up the matter immediately with that country and summon its envoy to convey condemnation.
Members of BJP, BJD and SP referred to instances of growing violence and harassment of minorities in that country and demanded that Parliament should adopt a resolution condemning it.
The concern was voiced in the House in the wake of around 150 Hindus crossing over to India from Pakistan via the Attari border yesterday in the wake of their harassment in Sindh province.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, BJP leader Rajnath Singh said minorities, particularly Hindus and Sikhs, were feeling insecure in Pakistan.
He said some 20 Hindu and Sikh families have fled to India and sought Indian citizenship in view of the persecution. Singh said around 250 Pakistani pilgrims, who came to India, were asked to give an undertaking by Pakistani authorities that they would not utter a word in India about their plight.
The BJP leader referred to the live TV coverage of the conversion of a Hindu youth and kidnapping and conversion of a young girl and said leaders of the community in Pakistan had written to Indian High Commission and the US Embassy in Islamabad seeking protection.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded a discussion on the matter in Parliament so that "there is no reaction to such incidents in India" and said this was "not a religious but a humanitarian issue".
Yadav wanted the government to urgently summon the Pakistani High Commissioner here and convey India's condemnation of such inhumanitarian acts.
B Mahtab (BJD) referred to a Pakistani school girl Ifra Siddiqui's writing in which she had spoken of how religious minorities were forced to live in fear there and migrate to other countries.
Kidnappings, forced conversions, marriage of minor girls and ransacking their homes were going on unabated against religious minorities, including Hindus and Christians, and the authorities were "either non-existent or mute spectators". Making a strong plea for providing support, succour and security to religions minorities in Pakistan, he wanted that the Hindus, who migrated to India, should be allowed to settle here.
He said the population of religious minorities in undivided Pakistan was to the tune of 26 per cent, but it has now come down to only two per cent.