‘Scared Pak Hindus fleeing to India’

via Vimal Bhatia, TNN (TOI) published on March 4, 2010

JAISLAMER: Hindus in Pakistan are scared after the recent atrocities against minorities perpetrated by religious fanatics. Many are now making a beeline for the Indian High Commission for visas to flee the disturbed Islamic state. However, most have to return disappointed as the Indian mission in Islamabad is very strict in issuing visas as relations between the two countries are now at nadir.

Fear has spread among the few Hindus and Sikhs in that country over the beheading of the Sikhs by the Taliban for refusing to convert to Islam. The state machinery has failed to protect religious minorities in Pakistan.

Bhavru Ram Bheel, a resident of Pakistan’s Rahmiyar Khan area, who came to India by Thar Express on February 20, said about 10 families (50 to 60 members) had permanently left Pakistan by train never to be return to that country and many more are in the queue. He said, Taliban has unleashed a reign of terror among the Hindus by kidnapping the young women of Hindus. He said, “They tried to kidnap my daughters three four times. However we managed to save our honour. We have left behind everything and came to India.”

Another passenger Nenuram Gomad Ram said, “The Taliban had launched a campaign to convert the Hindus into Islam. The Hindus who resist were subject to torture and even killing. That is the reason the visa application for India has increased manifold in recent times.” Many Hindu families applying for visa to India to leave that country at least for this hard times.

Hindu Singh Lodha of Frontier People Organisation said Pakistan is in a state of anarchy. Religious minorities especially the Hindus are feeling the heat and very insecure. They want to flee that country in search of safety especially to India. However, the Indian Embassy is not issuing visas in adequate numbers.

They said the Indian home ministry had reportedly issued visa restrictions to discourage the Hindus in Pakistan coming to India as the chances of them returning to their own country is remote considering the tense conditions there, he said.

Leader of the Organisation of the Displaced Hindus in Jaisalmer Nathuram Bheel said the Indian government has put stringent conditions like a guarantor for issuing visa to Hindus from Pakistan. He said when Hindus were subjected to religious persecution the visa restrictions by the Indian government is all the more disappointing as the fanatics identify the Hindus with India

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