By Antony Thomas
Karachi, Pakistan (CHAKRA) – An activist and council member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Amarnath Motumal, stated that at least 20 to 25 girls are abducted and converted to Islam against their will every single month. Hindus are targetted due to many local muslims seeing them as kafirs(non muslims) and therefore of lower class as well as evil.
Motumal further stated that this number is lower than the actual numbers because many cases go unreported due to fear of families and loved ones being killed. “A large number of Hindu girls in Karachi alone are being kidnapped on a routine basis.” Threats are commonly given by the dangerous kidnappers that if they are reported, the families will hear of their daughter’s death.
Motumal said that the word “Hindu” has become an insult and almost a shame for all Hindus in the Islamic state of Pakistan because of impoverished state 90% of Hindu families live in. He addressed that the government and others in power are to blame for the lack of rights available to the Hindu community. Only a few families come to Motumal for help while the majority keep their losses to themselves hoping that not speaking up will devoid them of future misfortunes.
A former MPA, Bherulal Balani said that Hindu girls in specific scheduled classes are the ones mostly being abducted from the Lyari area. “Once the girls are converted, they are then sold to other people or are forced to do illegal and immoral activities,” Balani said. He also added that the hostage takers are very powerful and that is primarily why reports are going awry if they are even made to begin with.
The interior South of Pakistan is where the number of kidnappings has increased within the last three months including nine reports which have been made ranging from kidnappings, to forced conversions, rapes and murders.
In the Nagarparker area, a 17 year old girl was raped and in another incident a 15 year old girl was abducted from Aaklee village, Tharparker followed with a forced conversion. Almost 71 families travelled from the village to protest against the abuse against the girl.
Even on the festival of Holi during celebrations, two Hindu girls, Kishni and Anita were kidnapped from Kotri. On the same day, Ajay and Sagar, two other boys were also kidnapped from an area close by.
Amir Gul, was murdered by her landlord at the beginning of March in Tando Haider. Later in March, Kishan Kumar was kidnapped from Kandhkot, Jacobabab.
MPA Pitamber Sewani said that one of the reasons these acts against Hindu minorities are taking place is because the culprits believe that the minority will support the government in “local body” elections so they want to harass these Hindus to alleviate the support level in upcoming elections.
President of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Ramesh Kumar criticized the minority Hindu community representatives for not standing up and letting their voices be heard at important forums. He said that these leaders were simply representing their parties and not the poor people and their real issues. He also added that the dire economic conditions, especially in Kandhkot and Jacobab have led to kidnappings and other abuse of the minority Hindus.
Coordinator HRCP Task Force Sindh Dr. Ashothama Lohano said that according to a report, the most pinpointed and harassed communities in the area are of Hindu and Christian communities. He stated that “The recent wave of extremism is one reason, which has destroyed the harmony of the land of Sufis. Another reason is the destruction of the agriculture sector and small markets that has led to frustration and lawlessness. Yet another reason is that the elected representatives are working only for the party and not for the community.”
He further stated that the minority Hindu community was an easy target because they did not stand up or speak up against the violations due to fear. At the same time though, if they chose to speak up and take action they were accused of having Indian connections or killed by local Islamic groups.