Another heart-warming story from the land of the pure.

To be a member of a minority community and live in Pakistan is now extremely dangerous as fanatical Islamists step up their violence against non-Muslims of all varieties. The PPP Government is reluctant to act against killer and rapist thugs

Recent horror stories emanating from Pakistan indicate our Government’s abysmal failure to safeguard the rights of Hindus and Sikhs in the Islamic nation. Some pertain to abduction of girls, even married ones, and their forcible conversion to Islam; and others to kidnapping for ransom, extortion and killing on grounds of religion. The disappearance of Lata Kumar, a medical student from Karachi, and Rinkle Kumari, from a small town in Sindh, has elders worried as the authorities are unlikely to act against the abductors. Amarnath Motumal of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan paints a grim picture of routine kidnapping of females, who are forced to embrace Islam. Commission’s chief ZohraYusuf laments that the situation for minorities has worsened after the assassinations of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer and Federal Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti early last year.

In Balochistan, half of the 50 or so people kidnapped for ransom, usually, over the past four years have been Hindus. Most were released through mediation, with great difficulty. Iranian Shias and the few Parsis in the region, other targeted communities, have either migrated out or are in the process of doing so. Ali Eteraz, in ‘Protecting Pakistan’s Hindus’, published in the Guardian, dated April 11, 2008, avers — “Hindus in Pakistan have suffered grievously since the founding of the nation in 1947” — citing instances of brutal killings, usurpation of land, destruction of temples in retaliation for the Babri Masjid demolition, and general discrimination. Nobody, not even the most avid proponent of the politics of minorityism, can claim that Muslims or other minorities have suffered grievously since India gained freedom in 1947. As for communal riots, instigated by scheming politicos, they spare neither Hindus nor minorities.

One quotes again from the article to show how Hindus are viewed: “There are two levels of prejudice in Pakistan with respect to Hindus — the cultural and the legal.

While it is difficult to say which one is more pernicious, cultural prejudice is certainly more difficult to uproot because it is perpetuated by religious supremacism, nationalism, stories, myth, lies, families, media, schooling and bigotry.

Cultural prejudice has become part and parcel of language itself. Hindus are referred to as “napak.” Na means ‘un’ and pak means ‘pure.’ So, Hindus are turned into the impure, or unclean. Given that the word ‘pak’ is part of the word ‘Pakistan’ — which means Land of the Pure — somebody’s impurity suggests that they are not really Pakistani”.

The writer states that from 15 per cent at the time of Pakistan’s creation, Hindu population has declined to two per cent. “Many have left, many have been killed, and many have converted to other religions to protect themselves”.

Here, leaders bend backwards to woo Muslims as a vote bank. Union Minister Salman Khurshid’s drum-beating on a nine per cent Muslim-minorities quota before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll could not prevent his wife Louise Fernandes Khurshid from losing in Farrukhabad. But Samajwadi Party’s bait of 18 per cent reservations in Government jobs and educational institutions for Muslims and other minorities seems to have worked. Though the Sachar Committee report may have projected Muslims, the dominant minority group, in a sorry light and advocated urgent remedial measures for uplift, minorities living in India are not as desperately in need of affirmative action as, say, Hindus, Christians or Ahmedis in Muslim-majority Pakistan.

There, people from minority communities are made to feel like second-class citizens. Some would say third-class citizens, with few being able to make it big in business, arts, politics and administrative services. One lone judge of the Pakistan Supreme Court, Justice Bhagwandas, had to take oath on the Quran. Here, non-Hindus have shone in the whole spectrum of public life as top-ranking leaders, policy-makers, administrators, senior defence officials, show-biz personalities, professionals. No census or survey has ever shown the minorities to be among the most disadvantaged or poor.

It may be edifying to recall that the late Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities and a Christian, was killed last March because of his aggressive advocacy of the rights of minority groups.

He is credited with having pushed through a five per cent reservation for minorities in Government jobs. He also managed to institute an annual National Day for Minorities. Pakistani Hindus complain that none of their festivals merits a holiday.

As founder and president of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, a national network of all religious minorities, he took his job seriously.In consequence, he was gunned down like a common felon. But here, human rights activists and political advocates of minority interests failed to condemn the killing even while they remain fixated on ‘Hindu terror’.
Coming soon to a neighbourhood near you - Islam - the religion of peace - convert or we will abduct your daughter/wife, rape them and slit your throat.