VIEW: The exodus of Hindus —Muhammad Akbar Notezai
The Hindus’ exodus, to me, is like the exodus of Hazrat Musa’s nation, which is mentioned in the Old Testament
“Minorities to whichever community they may belong, will be fully safeguarded, their religion or faith or belief will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom or worship. They will have full protection with regard to their religion, their faith, their belief and culture. They will be in all respects the citizens of Pakistan without any distinction of caste and creed,” said Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in a press conference held in New Delhi on July 14, 1947.
After 65 years, Pakistan’s minorities, especially the Hindus, have been compelled to leave their indigenous places in recent times, because their religion is not safeguarded here, and they have been facing great hardship to dwell anymore in their own homes. In addition, they are not considered to be genuine citizens of Pakistan. That is why their abduction and forcible conversion is on the surge. There is no one to hear Quaid-e-Azam’s 1947 speech so that they would raise their voice on the soul-harrowing exodus of Hindus.
To know the causes behind the Hindus’ exodus, this scribe spoke to the Balochistan-based Hindu intellectual, Mr Sham Kumar, who briefly discussed this key issue. His view is given below. According to Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, since time immemorial, Hindus were living on this land, i.e., Balochistan. After that, the Baloch settled here, but the Hindus are the original inhabitants of this region. Besides, Balochistan’s elders and intellectuals show great respect for Hindus. On the other hand, in Sindh, before the arrival of the Arabs, Hindus were living in Sindh with Buddhists, but after Raja Dahir’s defeat, Muslims began to settle in Sindh.
The Hindus of Balochistan, from the very beginning, are traders and shopkeepers. As a matter of fact, those who belong to these professions are always lovers of the land and invest their energy in the economic and social activities of the region. Similarly, Hindus have also been working for the welfare and prosperity of Balochistan from the very beginning. Gone are the days when peace thrived in Balochistan as compared to the other provinces of Pakistan. In other provinces, especially in Sindh, turmoil, uproar and kidnapping for ransom cases were prevalent. This was in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s period, while in Balochistan, this disease broke out in the 1990s, because in General Ziaul Haq’s regime the two worst tribulations were initiated: the Kalashnikov culture and heroin/drug culture. These tribulations spread gradually. Later on, cases of kidnapping for ransom also began to emerge, in which Hindus would be targeted. Then the disease converted into a cancer in the former General Pervez Musharraf and President Asif Ali Zardari’s regimes.
Moreover, gradually some other diseases intensified; these diseases are kidnapping for ransom, targeted killing, ethnic and sectarian violence, missing persons’ cases, throwing of decomposed bodies and extortion, etc. Accordingly, the Hindus are being victimised for kidnapping for ransom and threatened to give money, or they are killed. In addition, the cases of Hindus being converted forcibly are increasing in Sindh and Balochistan. They especially convert forcefully young and even adult Hindu women.
In these inhumane crimes, the administration, judiciary and other government institutions seem to be helpless. It is also claimed that the establishment is involved in these illegal, unethical, unconstitutional and anti-minorities affairs.
Keeping in view the above-mentioned compulsions, Balochistan’s peaceful Hindus are feeling ‘undesirable and unwanted’ on their own land. Also, they are being given an indication in undeclared words to leave their motherland and get lost, otherwise their business, life, and property will be devastated.
Due to these reasons, after knocking the doors of all the higher authorities, so far nothing has happened. That is why today, in the 21st century, Hindus are running from pillar to post to find a safe place to settle. The Hindus’ exodus, to me, is like the exodus of Hazrat Musa’s nation, which is mentioned in the Old Testament. In Hitler’s regime, Jews were forced to leave Germany; therefore the Hindus’ exodus could be compared to that as well.
Lastly, I extend my humble request to the UN, Amnesty International and the International Court of Justice to intervene in this key issue so that this peaceful minority’s exodus may stop.
(Courtesy to: Daily Times)