Why is it Wrong to be a Hindu in Pakistan?

Pakistan must take strong action to ensure security for all religious and ethnic minorities; otherwise a generation of Hindus will be lost.

pakistan-hindu-violenceThe marginalization and mistreatment of the Hindu community in the Pakistan’s Sindh region is believed to have started during the era of Pakistan’s sixth president, the military dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.

Violence was rare in the beginning; however it now seems like an everyday tool used by the extremist groups.

Dr. Hari Lal, a community leader whose home was attacked told local media “We feel like there is a plan to get us out of here. That is because we are well-to-do, there is envy and people want us gone.”

Islamic militancy flourishes with impunity against all religious minorities in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s ruling government has failed to prevent the persecution of religious minorities, especially the Hindus in Sindh. As result, extremists are burning their religious temples, forcing them to covert to Sunni Islam, whisking them away and dumping their dead bodies.

pakistan-hindu-violence

Credit: Matters India

I have the privilege of knowing Kapil Kumar, a graduate in chemical engineering and a resident of Sindh. He is one of my great Hindu friends and a Fulbright Fellow. After the recent attack on his religious temple close to his home, I was extremely concerned about his safety. Once I got to know that he was doing fine, I could relax.

I was talking to him and was also curious to ask him how does he feel being a religious minority in Pakistan. But before I asked him, I actually asked it to myself what I had felt being a religious minority in Pakistan. Honestly speaking, being the oldest settler in the southwest of Balochistan and belonging to the Baloch ethnicity, I never feared of persecution. Yet I have always feared that Islamic militancy would  be used as a tool to counter the Baloch freedom movement. That has absolutely become a true presumption.

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Anyway, I assumed that I had a different mentality then Kapil Kumar. When I finally asked him how he felt, he replied, “People call it [Pakistan] land of the pure, but I feel shame to live in such a land of the pure where I am mistreated on account of religious orientation. ”

Kapil added “We do not feel secure because it is easier for the extremist to attack us in Pakistan because our name reveals our religious identity, but I cannot change my name now.”

I was extremely impressed by what he described to me. It is true that the followers of the different sects of Islam almost have similar  names if they do not have similar views, but the names of Hindus are entirely different and are the symbol of their religious identity.

Kapil Kumar was convinced that militant attacks against religious minorities will continue – and with impunity from the government. He said “I wish I could flee Pakistan because I am not optimistic about my life’s security. Sometimes, I receive threatening calls stating that if I do not convert, I would be abducted and taught a great lesson.”

Pakistan’s government and human rights groups should take strong action to ensure security for all religious and ethnic minorities; otherwise a generation of Hindus will be lost in Pakistan.

Zahid Ali Baloch, a Fulbright Fellow, writes on Pakistan and Baloch issues for The Daily Dawn, The Daily Times and The Baloch Hal ( A newspaper banned by the Pakistani government because it reports on Baloch issues). He can be reached at zahid.sajidi@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Zahid.

  • Ali1727

    Ali Alyami wrote: Religious minorities are oppressed in all Muslim and Arab countries without exception. This includes Muslim minorities who are considered heretics by their own regimes and compatriots. This tragic and inhumane maltreatment of religious minorities is due to the fact that there is no religious freedom in any Muslim country. Ironically, Muslims minorities have the same rights and are protected under the rule of law in non-Muslim countries (including Hindu India), especially in Europe and America.

    General Zia Al-Haq imported and institutionalized the Saudi intolerant brand of Islam known as Wahhabism which turned Pakistan into a land of deadly extremists such as the Taliban most of whom graduated of schools, madrasas, founded and financed by Wahhabi extremists as has been documented abundantly.

    Non-Muslim, especially Western governments and businesses, need to demand religious reciprocity and respect for the individual rights to choose. This is in the best interest of democratic societies because religious extremists pose the greatest threats to freedom of expression everywhere.

  • Shuaib Hussain

    There is no question they are human should have every right a muslim has. Our government has to provide them with safety. Right now our nation is at an all time low and it’s disappointing and frustrating, but we can’t give up.