Just a day ahead of its Independence Day — when the country is set to celebrate freedom from the British Raj — Pakistan is far from implementing the spirit of freedom to its religious minorities. Hindus, one of the most neglected and politically deprived communities continue to flee the country and continue to cross the borders to seek respite in India.
In the latest case, 12 Pakistani Hindus have been apprehended by the Indian authorities in Rajasthan, for flouting visa rules and illegal staying in India. According to Rajasthan Police sources, the group had come to perform last rites on a family member.
They entered India using a valid visa, via Wagah Border. Police said that the group visited Haridwar and then, instead of going back to Pakistan, went to Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan, to meet their relatives.
The authorities are investigating the matter further and it is reliably learnt that the case is being viewed from a humanitarian angle.Minorities in Pakistan have been victims of atrocities in Pakistan. Last year, two suicide bombs had killed nine people in a church in the national capital- Islamabad. The Hindu community has never been fully accepted by Pakistan authorities.
According to a report in the Diplomat, a Hindu lawmaker told Pakistan’s National Assembly (NA) that about 5000 Hindus flee Pakistan every year to avoid persecution.
In fact, a November 2011 report in Pakistan’s The Express Tribune, titled ‘Demonising your own: Textbooks preach intolerance for minorities’ cited a study which pointed out how Hindus were portrayed as ‘extremists’ and ‘enemies of Islam’ in school text books.