25,000 Hindus migrated to India in five years: PML-N leader

25,000 Hindus migrated to India in five years: PML-N leader

About 25,000 Hindus in Pakistan have been forced to migrate to India due to religious violence over the last five years, a PML-N leader from the minority community said today.

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is also the patron of the Pakistan Hindu Council, alleged that the situation in Sindh province was acute and the migration is taking place from there.

"I had asked a written question in the National Assembly after which I was informed that about 25,000 Pakistani Hindus have migrated to India in the last five years," Vankwani told PTI.

He said at least six incidents of religious disturbance occurred within the last two months in Sindh. The last such incident was on May 7 when two religious books of the minorities were burnt.

"There is law and order problem in Khyber Pathtunkhwa and even Balochistan. But, Hindus are migrating from Sindh," Vankwani said.

The major incident that took place was in March when a frenzied mob attacked a Hindu temple and set a dharmashala on fire over alleged desecration of a holy book, prompting authorities to impose a curfew in Sindh's Larkana city.

The incident had marred Holi celebrations."People are even afraid to go to melas," Vankwani said.

Speaking in the National Assembly yesterday, he said influential people were forcefully converting religion of Hindu girls in interior Sindh and urged the government to take steps to counter such attempts by the Muslim majority.

Dawn News quoted the ruling party's lawmaker as saying that it was the teaching of all the religions to respect other faiths but the minorities had failed to get equal rights in Pakistan.

Vankwani suggested that the government should set up a parliamentary committee to discuss the issues related to minorities.

Later, State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed said the government will ensure the protection of minorities at all cost as it is mentioned in the Constitution.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Shazia Marri urged the government to protect the rights of religious minorities in the country.

She said it was the government's responsibility to focus on the law and order situation for the progress of Pakistan otherwise foreign tourists and investors will not come to the country.