Pakistani Hindus who came to India in search of a better and brighter future are going back to Pakistan, after all their dreams were shattered into million pieces. They left an Islamist nation to escape daily religious persecution and atrocities at the hands of the Muslim majority, but even on the other side of the border they found no relief. The government and the majority population ignored the concerns of the Hindu refugees.
The Hindu refugees are fighting for their survival whereas the Rohingya Muslims and illegal Bangladeshi immigrants get political patronage in India. This is the very same country where top lawyers contested against PM Modi’ move of deporting Rohingya immigrants even though the intelligence data showed links between some of the Rohingya refugees and Pakistan-based terror groups.
Fed up with the government’s negligence and careless attitude, many Hindu refugees are now returning to Pakistan. In the last three years over 2000 Pakistani Hindu refugees have returned, and many of them have been forced to convert into Islam. Every year, thousands of Hindu girls are kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam, and later, they are forcibly married to Muslim men. In Pakistan, the Hindus and other minorities face discrimination in all walks of life, be it schooling, employment or sports. Hindu places of worship are targeted and destroyed. Hence, one can conclude with that the Hindus in Pakistan have only three options:
- Convert to Islam
- Leave Pakistan
- Get Killed
The Hindu population of Pakistan has declined sharply since 1947. In 1947, the Hindu population of Pakistan was around 20 % but now it is just 1.85%. A few years back, the Indian government announced that it will provide Indian citizenship to the Hindu refugees of Pakistan and the district collectors were granted power, but it failed to yield any satisfactory result. There is a lot of red-tapism involved in the citizenship process. The rules and regulations are also very stringent, which makes it almost impossible for Pakistani Hindu refugees to get an Indian citizenship.
According to the Times of India report, in many areas of western Rajasthan, Pakistani Hindu refugees have been waiting for Indian citizenship for over a decade now. Till now, the central government has organized camps to provide citizenship twice but nothing fruitful has come out of it. Only the forms were filled and formalities were done but no one was given citizenship. According to the report, around 968 Hindus have returned to Pakistan between the year 2015 and 2017. In the year 2017, 44 Hindu refugees returned to Pakistan, whereas in 2018 till now 59 have gone back to Pakistan. In 2016, the number of refugees who returned to Pakistan was 9.
Former Jaisalmer councilor and Pakistan Hindu refugee activist Nathuram Bheel said,”Pakistani Hindus who are coming to India leaving everything in Pakistan are not getting anything here as well. They are coming here with the hope of leading a good life but eventually are losing all hope. The waiting period is getting longer, they have come here on religious visas and due to the lack of proper papers and documents, they are forced to go back”.
Whoever is responsible for this sad state of affairs, whether it is the state government or the central government, they should be ashamed. Instead of helping the Hindu refugees in need they have sent them back to suffer and die.
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