Islamabad, Sept. 17: An editorial in a Pakistani daily has said it is the duty of the country to create conditions in which the minority communities are not pushed so far down in the scale of well-being that its youths find it more tolerable to convert.
Some people in the establishment in Pakistan will probably smile triumphantly at the news that “dozens of Pakistani Hindu pilgrims who reached the Indian state of Rajasthan on September 9, say they don’t intend to return to their country”, the editorial in The Express Tribune said.
The establishment will rebuke the government for not placing an embargo on their movement out of Pakistan and will probably succeed in getting it to stop any families from the Hindu community from going out of the country in future, it said.
The Hindus visiting India mostly said that they would come back. No sane person can expect a persecuted and scared community to tell the truth about what they will do next. Once in Rajasthan in India, the stricken community was more outspoken and expressed their unhappiness about the abnormal trend in Pakistan of marrying Hindu girls after making them run away from their parental homes, it added.
In Rajasthan, there were ‘social workers’ aplenty, who took care of the Hindus as they arrived. The Samenath Lok Sangathan (SLS) wants India to give them the country’s nationality and help them settle in India and not go back to Pakistan where, by Pakistanis’ own admission, religious extremism is rampant to an extent that even fellow Muslims are not safe. This kind of a thing has happened to thousands of Christians, Bahais, Ismailis, etc, now settled in the West, it further said.
The BBC quoted the Hindus, as saying: “We are feeling insecure because of the alarming rise in Islamic extremism in Pakistan. We would rather die here (in India) than go back to Pakistan.”
The question is not whether there is freedom of religion in Pakistan; it is whether a community feels safe about preserving their religion, which is protected under the law and under sharia. What the Hindu community is pointing to is the changed environment in Pakistan, wherein conversion to Islam has picked up, the editorial stated.
One factor is the condition of life which has plummeted for the non-Muslims; the other is the increased victimisation of them under various forms of blasphemy. The other irony is that there is no real freedom of religion: Muslims embracing Hinduism would be immediately killed, it concluded. (ANI)