By C. Adrew
India, since long has falsely been propagating that a large number of Pakistani Hindus from Sindh migrated to India due to their persecution. But the situation is otherwise. It is to mention that the Hindus in Sindh are largely traders, businessmen and landlords. They enjoy equally prestigious life as being enjoyed by an upper-middle class Muslim in Sindh. Hindus of Sindh have not only excelled in business sector but in education sector as well. All Engineering and Medical universities of Sindh are flooded by Hindu students. However, a significant trend of migration abroad particularly to India has been observed in the local Hindu community owing to robberies, abduction for ransom, illegal extortion and other issues.
Though the criminals of interior Sindh are targeting everyone but Hindu community has an option to avoid this situation that is migration. Such migration of Hindus who are mostly traders / businessman and financially sound, is not only causing capital drain from Pakistan to India and the other countries but also reducing the tax net of Pakistan. As per careful estimate, every migrating family takes 25-50 million rupees from Pakistan to India. It is worth mentioning that Hindu traders and businessmen are good tax payers and they contribute a considerable amount to the exchequer of Pakistan.
International media like BBC with the connivance of Indian media gave considerable coverage of these issues in its Urdu transmission and tried to depict Pakistan as unsafe country for minorities. Reportedly Indian BhartiyaJanata Party (BJP) and ShiveSina have established special cells to look after such Pakistan migrants in India. Moreover Mr Hindu Singh Sodha (Pakistan origin Indian national, who shifted India from district Sangharin 1971) has also established an Indian NGO SeemantLokSangathan and struggling to get Indian nationality for Pakistan Hindu Migrants. However, exact member of Pakistani Hindus who migrated from Sindh to India cannot be ascertained, it is estimated that about 1500-2000 Pakistani Hindus have been migrated to India and seeking Indian nationality. The main reasons for their migration were general deteriorating law and order situation of interior Sindh and better economic opportunities.
It is to mention that law and order situation has now been improved in interior Sindh. And those who migrated to India have been coming back to Pakistan after waiting too long for Indian nationality. They are complaining about ill treatment by intelligence agencies of India. It is worth mentioning that ShaukimalPrajapati, a Pakistani Hindu who has found shelter in India, but never succeeded in finding a place that he could truly call his home.”I was a Hindu in Pakistan, but a Pakistani in India,” the MSc graduate from Pakistan’s Sindh Agricultural University, laments. Moreover, India refuses to recognize Pakistani Hindus as “refugees”.
According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality is taken into consideration to define a refugee. India, however, is not a signatory to the convention. A refugee status would have helped Hindus from Pakistan to acquire residence permits and find employment.In its absence, they are forced to wait for seven years before they can apply for citizenship under the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955.That is why they (Pakistani Hindus) are returning.
It is worth mentioning here that Mahesh Malani, the first Hindu to win an election on aNational Assembly seat in Pakistan, has said that he expects an equal relationship with India. Scripting history, Malani won NA 222 Tharparkar II seat in the recently concluded Pakistan elections, a first in Pakistan’s 70 years history. Malani, who won the elections on a ticket from Bilawal Bhutto-led Pakistan People’s Party, has said that he want’s to see an ‘equal relationship’ between Pakistan and India. Malani also told The Times Of India that the situation for minorities, particularly Hindus, has changed in Pakistan over the years.
The Pakistani lawmaker appealed Hindus who have taken migration to India that they could return to Pakistan if they want. However, those who think otherwise have the option of staying in India, Malani added.Malani contested and won the Tharparkar-II seat in southern Sindh province, after defeating 14 candidates, the Dawn reported. The candidate received 1,06,630 votes while his opponent, ArbabZakaullah of the Grand Democratic Alliance, garnered 87,251 votes.Malani, a Pakistani Hindu RajasthaniPushkarna Brahmin politician, was a member of parliament from 2003-08 on a reserved seat. Earlier, Malani also achieved the feat of becoming the first non-Muslim Member of the Provincial Assembly after winning the Tharparkar-III general seat of the Sindh Assembly in 2013.Not only did he win the elections, he also served on a number of crucial committees, including his service as the chairperson of the Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on Food.Malani’s victory comes 16 years after non-Muslims got the right to vote and contest on general seats of the parliament and provincial assemblies in 2002 after the then president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf made amendments to the Constitution.
It is added that Government of Pakistan is making efforts for wellbeing of minorities and in this connection Evacuee Trust Property Board is spending a huge amount in maintaining and renovation of Hindu temples as well as Churches of Christians. So the situation in Pakistan for minorities has considerably been improved and Indian Government and media is spreading baseless and false propaganda in order to divert attention of international community from mass persecution of minorities in India.