Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fact-Checking Farahnaz Ispahani's Claims in "Purifying the Land of the Pure"

In "Purifying the Land of the Pure", the author Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani, the wife of Mr. Husain Haqqani who served as Pakistan's Ambassador in Washington from 2008 to 2011, asserts that "by 1949, the non-Muslim population of Pakistan had been significantly diluted.....the percentage of Muslims in the areas constituting Pakistan rose from 77% in 1941 to 83% in 1949".

In other words, the population of minorities, mostly Hindus, was 17% in 1949 in Pakistan. This included both east and west Pakistan. Let's examine what has happened to the minority population in Pakistan since 1971 when East Pakistan split off to form Bangladesh. More specifically, let's focus on the Hindu population that constitutes overwhelming majority of religious minorities population.

Hindu population of the areas that now constitute post-1971 Pakistan was 15% in 1931 India Census. It declined to 14% in 1941. Then first Pakistan Census in 1951 showed it was 1.3% after the massive cross-border migration of both Hindus and Muslims in 1947. During the partition, 4.7 million Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India from what became Pakistan, while over 8 million Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan. Since 1951, the Hindu population of what is now Pakistan has grown from 1.3% to 1.9% now.

Pew Research reported in 2017 that nearly half of India’s migrants are in just three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and the United States. About 3.5 million Indians live in the UAE, the top destination country for Indian migrants. Over the past two decades, millions of Indians have migrated there to find employment as laborers. Pakistan has the second-largest number of Indian-born migrants, with 2 million who, according to the World Bank, send nearly $5 billion a year in remittances to their poor Muslim relatives in India.

The biggest exodus of Muslims from India was from the Indian Punjab where the Muslim population declined from 32% in 1941 to 0.8% in 1951.

Contrary to the sensational media headlines about declining Hindu population in Pakistan, the fact is that Hindu birth rate is significantly higher than the country's national average. Although Hindus make up only 1.9% of Pakistan's population, it is among the worlds fastest growing Hindu communities today, growing faster than the Hindu populations in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

`Pakistan Census data. For 1931 and 1941, the figures are for West Pakistan in undivided India. For 1951 and 1961, the figures are for West Pakistan in undivided Pakistan. Data for 1971 could not be accessed.

Hindu population of the areas that now constitute Pakistan was 15% in 1931 India Census. It declined to 14% in 1941 India Census. Then first Pakistan Census in 1951 showed it was 1.3% after the massive cross-border migration of both Hindus and Muslims in 1947. During the partition, 4.7 million Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India from what became Pakistan, while over 8 million Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan. Since 1951, the Hindu population of what is now Pakistan has grown from 1.3% to 1.9% now.     

Fastest Growing Religions By Countries
Sindhi Hindu Woman

Hindu fertility rate (TFR) of 3.2 children per woman in Pakistan is much higher than national fertility rate of 2.86.  With 3.33 million Hindus, Pakistan is currently home to the world's 5th largest Hindu population. By 2050, Pakistan will rank 4th with 5.6 million Hindus, surpassing Indonesia which is currently ranked 4th largest Hindu country, according to Pew Research.

While it is true that some Pakistani Hindus have been targets of religious bigotry and intolerance by some extremists in the majority Muslim community, there are also many many examples of mutual tolerance and respect between Hindus and Muslims in the country.  In the city of Mithi in Sindh's Tharparkar district, for example,  Muslims do not slaughter cows out of respect for their fellow citizens of Hindu faith, and Hindus, out of respect for Muslim rites do not  have marriage celebrations during the month of Muharram. Hassan Raza, a student journalist, quoted a resident of a village near Mithi as saying:

"In our village, Hindus and Muslims have been living together for decades and there has not been a single day, when I have seen a religious conflict. No loud speaker is used for Azaan at the time when Hindus are worshiping in their temple, and no bells are rung when it is time for namaz. Nobody eats in public when it is Ramazan and Holi is played by every member of the village."

Diwali Celebration in Mithi, Pakistan

Another example is Rohiri in Sindh where a visiting Canadian-Indian Hindu diplomat saw a thriving Hindu community. Here's an except of how he describes his visit to Rohiri:

"One of the most interesting elements of the trip was visiting my father’s town, Rohiri, his birthplace. I found there was still a sizeable Hindu community there. That totally took me by surprise. We still think there was a massive religious cleansing in Pakistan and there were no Hindus left. Then I came across this family of shopkeepers who said, “Don’t worry about anything. Stay with us.” They gave me lunch and dinner and put me on the night train to Lahore. Talking to this family in the neighbourhood where my father grew up and was married was fascinating. The question that came to mind was why did my father’s family leave Pakistan and why are these people still here? Official figures suggest 14 million people were displaced after partition and that half a million to a million people were killed. And yet 60 years later these Hindu people in Rohiri are still there. They felt connected to the place where they were born. In the three towns I passed through I kept meeting Hindus — traders, professionals. Their numbers were small, 300 or 400 families in each of these towns. They have their own places of worship. I dared to ask: “Are you happy here?” and they said, “Yes, this is the land where we were born.”"

Pakistani Fashion Designer Deepak Perwani in Karachi

A successful Karachi-based Hindu Pakistani fashion designer Deepak Perwani said the following while talking to Indian media in 2012:

"People keep asking me, 'Oh you guys didn't migrate?', 'How are you treated there?' and so on. The questions show a lack of awareness." Perwani is part of Karachi's flourishing Hindu community, which is small but visible and influential even today. One lakh of Karachi's 1.3 crore population is Hindu.

As Perwani puts it, a lot of what people say about Pakistani Hindus shows "a lack of awareness".

Related Links:


Rks said...

Riaz bhai, you say: " Pakistan has the second-largest number of Indian-born migrants, with 2 million who, according to the World Bank, send nearly $5 billion a year in remittances to their poor Muslim relatives in India."

Is it really possible? It means each Pakistani Muslim with Indian background is donating his poor relatives , on an average, approximately 2,500 USD , which is twice the per capita GDP nominal of Pakistan. Then all the Indian origin Muslims in Pakistan must be millionaires. It means each family (avg 5 people) is transferring Rs 10 Lakh per year to India. Forget relatives separated by 70 years, nobody would give such money to their own brothers, these days. Looks more like King's ransom. Nobody in the world.

5 Billion USD is 2% of Pakistan's GDP. I think Pakistan government feeds fake data to World bank. Nawaz Shareef wants to show he is doing great- economy wise and get re-elected. Kindly do some research and come back.

Riaz Haq said...

19640909rk : "Is it really possible? "

It's actually happening, according to the World Bank. I personally know many Pakistanis who regularly send money to help their brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins in India to help them out. And it's not just those born in India who send money to India; their children and grandchildren do it too.

Ahmed F. said...

Are Hindus well represented in the Establishment? Or in the business?

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "Are Hindus well represented in the Establishment? Or in the business?"

Hindus in Pakistan are members of parliament, ministers,
doctors, professors, engineers, lawyers, judges, businessmen etc etc

I have met some of them in Karachi during my visits

I have personally seen entire markets dominated by Hindu shopkeepers in Sindh

Feroze said...

A lot Ms Isaphani says is true. When my uncle migrated to the US he was forced to declare that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was an imposter and not a true prophet. Happens a lot when you apply for passport documents.

Anonymous said...

By constitution only a true Muslim can be Prime Minister or a President.

Riaz Haq said...

Angry mob beat #Muslim man for allegedly carrying #beef in #India. #Cow #BJP http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/13/angry-mob-beat-muslim-man-for-allegedly-carrying-beef-in-india-6776885/ … via @MetroUK

A Muslim man was brutally beaten by a mob in India after the accuse him of carrying beef.
A video posted on social media showed a group of men hitting Salim Ismail Shah, 32, in Jalalkheda, India, yesterday.

He had been stopped while he was transporting 15 kgs of meat on his motorcycle, according to Jalalkheda Police Inspector Vijaykumar Tiwari.
‘He was accosted by four persons who beat him up, alleging he was carrying beef,’ he told The Indian Express.
‘Shah sustained injuries for which he was admitted to a hospital, from where he has been discharged.’


The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, bans the killing of cows and calves.
Inspector Tiwari added: ‘We have sent the meat sample to a forensic laboratory to find out if it was beef or something else.
‘We haven’t registered any offence against Shah as of now.’
It’s not the first time someone has been attacked after allegedly carrying beef, which is considered sacred among many religions in India, including Hinduism and Sikhism.
Last month a mob on a train headed to Mathura reportedly stabbed a 15-year-old boy named Junaid Khan to death because he was apparently carrying beef.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/13/angry-mob-beat-muslim-man-for-allegedly-carrying-beef-in-india-6776885/#ixzz4mjsqOR1G

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - The defiance of an 'untouchable' #NewYork subway worker. #India #Dalit #Apartheid #Caste


Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla

(In New York), she says, she faced racism. And caste was right here too. She says she found "petty caste discrimination" among the Indian community.


The 53-year-old subway conductor has been luckier than most Dalits back home, women especially, who suffer unspeakable cruelty, are employed in menial jobs including cleaning of human excreta and are segregated by their communities.
Unlike most of her lot, her family was "middle class", thanks to the help of Canadian missionaries in her region who aided in education and offered them religion. Her family was thus Christian and benefited with education. Her parents held jobs as college teachers.
Gidla says that proselytization didn't help her lot. "Christians, untouchables - it came to the same thing. All Christians in India were untouchable. I knew no Christian who did not turn servile in the presence of a Hindu."
The book chronicles unflinchingly the caste slurs and segregation Gidla and Dalits like her have to endure in India.

Gidla lists how she and other Dalits are humiliated in India by other castes.
They are forced to eat from separate plates and glasses in eateries; barred from the community's main source of drinking water; allowed to ride a bicycle or wear footwear only in segregated areas; rejected in love and denied opportunities. She recalls her hurt when a junior school classmate refused to touch the sweet she offered. Things like this are constant reminders to Dalits of their status as social outcastes.
Since her teens Gidla was spurred to rebel with her uncle, the rebel Telugu language poet Shivasagar, setting an example. His call to join the Communists and later the guerrilla movement of the region demanding social justice held appeal for the young Gidla.


In America, writes Gilda, "people know only my skin colour, not birth status".
"One time in a bar in Atlanta I told a guy I was untouchable, and he said, 'Oh, but you're so touchable'."

Riaz Haq said...

#India at 70: #Lynchistan #racist #fascist #xenophobic #Hindu #Supremacist #Modi #BJP

"Mr. Modi’s rule represents the most devastating, and perhaps final, defeat of India’s noble postcolonial ambition to create a moral world order. It turns out that the racist imperialism Du Bois despised can resurrect itself even among its former victims: There can be English rule without the Englishman. India’s claims to exceptionalism appear to have been as unfounded as America’s own." --- Pankaj Mishra


India’s lynch mobs today represent the latest and most grisly expression of such cynical political ideologies. As the sheer brutishness of Mr. Modi’s populism becomes clear, the memory of the aristocratic Nehru becomes more sacred, especially among politicians and commentators from India’s English-speaking upper castes. But Mr. Modi has also turned that legacy of high-flown promises to his political advantage.

Nehru and his followers had articulated an influential ideology of Indian exceptionalism, claiming moral prestige and geopolitical significance for India’s uniquely massive and diverse democracy. Only many of those righteous notions also reeked of upper-caste sanctimony and class privilege. Mr. Modi has effectively mobilized those Indians who have long felt marginalized and humiliated by India’s self-serving Nehruvian elite into a large vote bank of ressentiment.

Virtuous talk of unity in diversity and secularism has been replaced by a barefaced Hindu nationalism: The tattered old masks, and the gloves, have come off. The state, colonized by an ideological movement, is emerging triumphant over society. With the media’s help, it is assuming extraordinary powers of control — telling people what they should eat at home and how they should behave in public, and whom to lynch.

Mr. Modi’s rule represents the most devastating, and perhaps final, defeat of India’s noble postcolonial ambition to create a moral world order. It turns out that the racist imperialism Du Bois despised can resurrect itself even among its former victims: There can be English rule without the Englishman. India’s claims to exceptionalism appear to have been as unfounded as America’s own.

And so one can, of course, mourn this Aug. 15 as marking the end of India’s tryst with destiny or, more accurately, the collapse of our exalted ideas about ourselves. But a sober reckoning with the deep malaise in India can be bracing, too. For it confirms that the world as we have known it, molded by the beneficiaries of both Western imperialism and anti-imperialist nationalism, is crumbling, and that in the East as well as the West, all of us are now called to fresh struggles for freedom, equality and dignity.

Riaz Haq said...

The indignity of being #Muslim in #India. #BJP #Modi #Hindutva #Islamophobia

by Sahil Wajid

I have, over the years, endured considerable discomfort and faced discrimination on account of my Muslim name—despite being wholly irreligious, despite having had a sheltered upbringing in a big city and access to education and employment, and despite having had many Hindu friends over the years who stood up for me.

Extrapolating from these personal experiences beyond my narrow prism of privilege, I can only imagine the horrors that the less fortunate Muslim men and women in the Hindi heartland would have had to endure. Especially, those who try to exercise their so-called freedom of religion and, unlike me, choose to assert their religious identity.

Sure, they are free to practice their religion and there are no legal obstacles (at least not yet), but for minorities in general and the beleaguered Muslims in particular, what this freedom essentially translates into is little more than the freedom to suffer marginalisation and humiliation.

And most of them do not even have “secular” first names to hide behind.


My first name was chosen by my mother because it was, as she put it, a “secular” name. Being a mildly religious woman, that really meant the name came as close as it could to a Hindu one, without sounding like a complete cop-out to some of her more orthodox Muslim relatives.

At any rate, it was better than the more spiritual name that my father, an atheist working at a bank, had in mind: Khusro, which, she said, would have been a pronunciation nightmare (besides being, as I later realised, egregiously Muslim-sounding).

While the turmoil of 1992 was still a few years away when I was born, my mother, unlike my father, seemed to have foreseen the times to come. However, as I was soon to find out, while first names can be chosen, there are no such secularising remedies for family names.

Delhi pejoratives
At my Delhi school one day, a seven-year-old in my class found out that my middle initial “A” stood for “Abdul.” He declared it was something to be ashamed about—rather viciously for his young age and in the unrelenting manner that children do when they pounce on an embarrassing secret. I realised at that early age that my Muslim surname was unlikely to ever be an asset and was best kept to oneself when it could be helped.

Subsequently, I introduced myself only by my first name. Once, when pressed, I lied about the “A” standing for “Agarwal,” before eventually dropping the inconvenient middle-name altogether. Of course, there were more such instances along the way to high school, from being

bestowed with nicknames pertaining to the

I introduced myself only by my first name.

stereotypical Muslim occupations, such as Darzi (tailor) and Naai (barber), to the now all-too-common Pakistani.

I also became familiar, much to the horror of my scandalised parents, with the more unsavory pejoratives for Muslim men, thanks to some of the older boys in my Delhi locality.

In college, stereotypes dressed as harmless “jokes” were routinely flung in one’s face. With my Muslim name, they came in the form of gags centered on terrorism—about hijacking small vehicles, a supposed proclivity for explosions, and so on. My surname provided a sustained spark for creativity of this kind, and not wanting to be perceived as unsporting and risk isolation, I played along.

Riaz Haq said...

Number of Non #Muslim voters in #Pakistan jumps 30% in 5 years. Rises to 3.63 million in 2018 from 2.77 million in 2013. Total registered voters in 2018 is 105 million. #Hindus #Christians #Sikhs #Jews

In Pakistan, Non-Muslim Voters Up By 30%, Hindus Maintain Majority
The number of Hindu voters before 2013 polls was 1.40 million, higher than the collective number of all other minorities.


The number of non-Muslim voters in Pakistan has climbed to 3.63 million in 2018 with the Hindus at 1.77 million maintaining their majority among the religious minority electorate, according to a new voters' list prepared by authorities ahead of the general elections.

The non-Muslim voters have registered an increase of 30 per cent over the last five years, the Dawn newspaper reported citing an official document.

The number of voters belonging to religious minorities has climbed to 3.63 million in 2018 from 2.77 million as registered in electoral rolls for the 2013 general elections, it said.

According to the report, the number of Hindu voters before 2013 polls was 1.40 million, higher than the collective number of all other minorities.

The number of Hindu voters now stands at 1.77 million.

Hindu voters continue to maintain their majority among the minorities, but they no more constitute over half of total non-Muslim voters as was the case in 2013, according to the report.

They are mostly concentrated in the Sindh province, where in two districts they form over 40 per cent of total registered voters.

The current government led by the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) will complete its tenure on May 31 post which a caretaker regime will oversee the election which is proposed to be held on July 25.

A total of 105 million -- 59.2 million males and 46.7 million females -- constitute the electoral roll across the six provinces of Pakistan, which has a population of over 200 million, according to data on the website of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A triangular contest between the governing PML-N led by prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan's PTI and former president Asif Ali Zardari's PPP is on the cards.

Christians form the second largest group of non-Muslim voters, totalling 1.64 million with over 1 million settled in Punjab followed by over 200,000 in Sindh. Their number has grown at a relatively high pace as compared to Hindu voters as it was 1.23 million before the 2013 general polls.

The total number of Ahmadi voters is 167,505 - most of whom dwell in Punjab, followed by Sindh and Islamabad. The number in 2013 stood at 115,966.

Of the total 8,852 Sikh voters, most are settled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa followed by Sindh and Punjab. Their presence in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas is more than their combined strength in Balochistan and Islamabad. They numbered 5,934 in 2013.

The number of Parsi voters has grown from 3,650 in 2013 to 4,235. Majority of them are settled in Sindh followed by KP. The number of Buddhist voters has increased from 1,452 in 2013 to 1,884. Most of them live in Sindh and Punjab.

There are a total of 31,543 voters from the Bahai community on the electoral rolls.

The report, based on official document, makes no mention of Jewish voters in Pakistan, though in 2013 there were 809 Jewish voters in the country 427 women and 382 men.

While the district-wise data of non-Muslim voters is yet to be prepared, according to official statistics related to 2013 elections, Umerkot and Tharparkar districts in Sindh had as high percentage as 49 per cent and 46 per cent of total voters, respectively.

The voting lists have been updated ahead of election scheduled to be held on July 25.

Riaz Haq said...

Total number of registered #Pakistan #voters in 2018 up 23% from 2013 general #elections. Non #Muslim voters up 30% over 5 years.


The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday published the final electoral rolls ahead of General Elections 2018.

According to the rolls, 105.96 million voters will be able to cast their vote in the upcoming elections. Of these, 59.22m are male and 46.73m are females, with the gender gap between male and female rising to around 12.5m.

According to the figures, 55.9 per cent of the registered voters in Pakistan are males while only 44.1pc are females.

The numbers are approximately 23 per cent higher than the figures for the 2013 elections when the total number of voters stood at 86.19m.

Punjab tops the list with the largest number of voters with a total of 60.67m voters (23pc increase from 2013), of which 33.68m are male and 26.99m are female. A total of 22.39m voters (18pc increase over 2013) are registered in Sindh, according to the figures proved by the ECP, of which 12.44m are male and 9.95m are female.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the third largest province of the country, is home to 15.32m registered voters (25pc higher than 2013) including 8.71m male and 6.61m female voters. Balochistan has a total of 4.3m registered voters — 29pc more than 2013 — including 2.49m male and 1.81m female voters.

In the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), 2.51m voters would be able to exercise their right of voting while 0.77m are registered with the ECP from the capital territory.

The publishing of electoral rolls comes as the commission awaits president's final decision on the exact dates of the elections and a name for the caretaker prime minister.

ECP on Monday proposed July 25-27 as possible dates for the upcoming elections and forwarded a summary in this regard to President Mamnoon Hussain, requesting him to set one of the proposed dates as the day of the polls according to Elections Act 2017, Section 57(1).

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan population 2017 results by religion:


Muslims constituted 96.28% of the total population in 1998, but 19 years later the share of Muslims in total population increased to 96.47%.

Since overall population increased by 75.4 million persons, followers of all religions have grown in absolute terms.

The incidence of Hindu population increased from 1.6% to 1.73% or 3.593 million individuals. The population share of scheduled castes also increased from 0.25% to 0.41%, according to unofficial final results.

The share of Christian population, however, decreased from 1.59% of the total population in 1998 to 1.27% in 2017. Similarly, the population of Ahamdis also decreased from 0.22% to just 0.09%.

The population share of other religions also reduced from 0.07% to 0.02%.

Riaz Haq said...

34-year-old Wazir Zada of #PTI will be the first member of the #Kalash community to become a lawmaker. July 25 was a big night for #minorities in #Pakistan. 3 Hindu candidates of the #PPPP were elected from the #Sindh province. #PakistanElection2018 https://www.geo.tv/latest/205962-pakistan-gets-its-first-kalashi-lawmaker

More women than ever were on the ballot nationwide. Several transgender persons contested on general parliamentary seats. July 25 was also a big night for minorities in Pakistan. Three Hindu candidates of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) were elected from the Sindh province. While over in three small villages – Bamboreet, Bareer and Ramboor - nestled in the Hindu Kush mountains in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, celebrations have been ongoing for many days now. Men and women dance to loud music in their colourful attires. And why shouldn’t there be revelries. One of their own, a young man named Wazir Zada has made history.

The 34-year-old will be the first member of the Kalash community to become a lawmaker.

Before Pakistan went to vote, Zada’s name was proposed for the minority seat in the provincial assembly by Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf. His name is second on the list of priority in an assembly where the PTI has secured a big win, picking up 66 general seats from the province, out of 99.

The Kalash community practises an ancient polytheistic religion and speaks Dardic. They are considered one of the oldest and smallest indigenous communities in the country.

Last year, the government-run National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) warned in a report that the Kalash population has dwindled over the years and now hovers around 4,000 due to forced conversions and other threats.

Zada was born to a working-class family in Kalash. He completed his matriculation and college from Chitral, before joining the University of Peshawar for a masters in political science. After his education, he began working as a social worker and activist in his area.

He first joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, a relatively lesser-known party then, in 2008. Once an MPA, Zada says he hopes to bring more “development and prosperity to the people of Kalash.” While the majority of the population in the three villages is that of Muslims, he plans to promote and highlight his tribe’s culture and history.

“I am thankful to Imran Khan, who gave me this opportunity,” he told Geo.tv. “Before this the people of Kalash only voted in the elections, but they were never heard from after. Now, our voice will reach every home.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's Mithi, an oasis of #Muslim-#Hindu tolerance - Mutual respect. #Mithi is a mostly Hindu city of 60,000 people, a rarity in a country where some 95 percent of the population is Muslim. http://www.ecoti.in/SRbRmY via @economictimes

Mutual respect
Cows roam freely in the Pakistani city of Mithi, as in neighbouring India. Considered sacred animals among Hindus, they embody the religious tolerance of this community in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where minorities face heavy discrimination.

Here, "Muslims respect the beliefs of Hindus," said Sham Das, a 72-year-old pensioner. "They do not kill cows, or only in remote places, but not in Hindu neighbourhoods."

A rarity
Unlike in the rest of Pakistan, cattle in Mithi live very well. They eat as they please, often from rubbish bins, and fall asleep on the roads.

At times tuk-tuks and motorcycles navigate a weaving path around the animals. At others the traffic waits patiently for them to wake.

Mithi is a mostly Hindu city of 60,000 people, a rarity in a country where some 95 percent of the population is Muslim.

Riaz Haq said...

In a first, #Pakistan appoints #Hindu #woman Suman Bodani underdeveloped rural area of Sindhas civil #judge https://tribune.com.pk/story/1898858/1-first-pakistan-appoints-hindu-woman-civil-judge/

For the first time in Pakistan’s judicial history a woman belonging to Hindu community has been appointed as civil and judicial magistrate.

Suman Bodani, hailing from Sindh’s Shahdadkot district, was declared eligible for the post after passing her judicial officers’ examination with flying colours – securing 54th position on the merit list, Express News reported on Monday.

Speaking to a foreign news outlet, Bodani said she belonged to an underdeveloped rural area of Sindh, where she witnessed poor struggling to cope with various challenges life throws at them. “They cannot even afford to lodge cases, and that is the reason behind my decision of joining law [studies] so I can bring justice to them,” she was quoted as saying.

After completing her intermediate from her native town Shahdadkot, Bodani persuaded law and acquired Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Hyderabad and Master of Laws (LLM) from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) in Karachi.

Bodani also said she faced resistance form her own community as they did not like girls working in the law field. However, her family including her father and siblings extended their full support to her. “My family did not pay any heed to what people would say and helped me achieve my goal.”

Last year, Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar made history after becoming the first woman chief justice of a high court in the country.

She was also the first woman appointed as a civil judge in Balochistan and holds the distinction of being the first woman in the province appointed as a judge in the Balochistan High Court.

Riaz Haq said...

#Hindu #Dalit female lawmaker Krishna Kumari chairs #Pakistan Senate on Women’s Day. #WomensDay #DoYouKnowRealPakistan,” https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/441328-hindu-female-lawmaker-chairs-pakistan-senate-on-womens-day

Pakistan Senate’s first Thari Hindu woman, Krishna Kumari Kolhi on the occasion of International Women’s Day is chairing a session of the Upper House on Friday.

Senator Faisal Javed made the announcement on Twitter of Kohli chairing the session to commemorate the International Women’s Day being celebrated across the globe.

“Chairman Senate of Pakistan decided to make our colleague Krishna Kumari Kohli aka Kishoo Bai to Chair the Senate for today on #WomensDay #DoYouKnowRealPakistan,” he tweeted.

Before starting the session, Kolhi expressed her gratitude for being given the chance: “I consider myself very fortunate today to be sitting on this seat, I salute Pakistan and I salute Pakistan’s people and I am proud to be a Pakistani and only Pakistani.”

The 39-year-old Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader hailing from Nagarparkar in the vicinity of Tharparkar became the first one in the senate to have roots from an isolated caste.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Govt Sacks Minister Fayyaz Chohan For ‘Anti-#Hindu’ Remarks. https://www.thequint.com/news/world/pak-min-fayyaz-ul-chohan-axed-amid-din-over-anti-hindu-remarks

akistani Punjab's Information Minister Fayyaz-ul Hassan Chohan of the ruling PTI has been sacked after facing severe criticism from members of his party for making derogatory remarks about Hindus.

The PTI government in Pakistan’s Punjab on Tuesday, 5 March, tweeted that it had “removed Fayyaz Chohan from the post of Punjab Information Minister following derogatory remarks about the Hindu community”.

“Bashing someone’s faith should not be a part of any narrative. Tolerance is the first and foremost pillar on which Pakistan was built,” the party had said.

‘Cow Urine-Drinking People’
Chohan had referred to the Hindu community as "cow urine-drinking people" at a recent press conference, as per IANS.

"We are Muslims and we have a flag, the flag of Maula Ali's bravery, the flag of Hazrat Umar's valour. You (Hindus) don't have that flag, it isn't in your hands," he had said.

"Don't operate under the delusion that you're seven times better than us. What we have, you can't have, you idol worshippers," he had said in a video that went viral on social media.

‘Won’t Tolerate Remarks Against Minority’
His remarks were condemned by Prime Minister Imran Khan and other key political leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) for his insensitivity towards the Hindus, a minority in Pakistan.

Khan had termed Chohan's remarks "inappropriate" and said, "We will not tolerate remarks against any minority community."

The minister had then apologised and said his comments were directed only at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian media.
"I was referring to Narendra Modi, RAW and Indian media," he said on Samaa TV's programme Naya Din on Tuesday. "The remarks weren't meant for any person in Pakistan. My message was for Indians.”

"I didn't demean any religion. The things I said are a part of Hindutva. I said things that are a part of their religion," he added.

Also Read : Pakistan Minister slammed over anti-Hindu remarks

But it seems the statements failed to quell anger. PTI's leader Naeemul Haque said, as per IANS, "The derogatory and insulting remarks against the Hindu community by Fayyaz Chohan... The PTI government will not tolerate this nonsense from a senior member of the government or from anyone. Action will be taken after consulting the Chief Minister."

Ministers of Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted, "Absolutely condemn this. No one has the right to attack anyone else's religion. Our Hindu citizens have given sacrifices for their country.”

“Our Prime Minister’s message is always of tolerance and respect and we cannot condone any form of bigotry or spread of religious hatred,” she added.
Finance Minister Asad Umar had also condemned the remarks. He said, "Hindus of Pakistan are as much a part of the fabric of the nation as I am. Remember the flag of Pakistan is not just green... it is not complete without the white which represents the minorities."

Riaz Haq said...

First #Hindu pilot in #Pakistan Air Force. Rahul Dev hails from #Tharparkar, the largest district in #Sindh province, where a large population of the Hindu community resides. | Pakistan – Gulf News


Rahul Dev hails from Tharparkar, the largest district in Sindh province, where a large population of the Hindu community resides.

All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat Secretary Ravi Dawani expressed happiness over Dev’s appointment. He said many members of the minority community are serving in the civil service as well as the army. Many doctors in the country also belong to the Hindu community. He said that if the government continues to focus on the minorities, then in the coming days many Rahul Devs will be ready to serve the country.

Riaz Haq said...

India is a top source and destination for world’s migrants

India’s religious minorities have been more likely to migrate internationally. Religious minorities make up a larger share of India’s international migrant population than they do among the nation’s domestic population, according to 2010 Pew Research Center estimates. For example, about 19% of the Indian international migrant population was Christian, compared with only 3% of the population in India. Similarly, an estimated 27% of the Indian international migrant population was Muslim, compared with 14% of the population in India. The reverse is true for Hindus: Only 45% of India’s international migrant population was Hindu, compared with 80% of the population in India.


India is also one of the world’s top destinations for international migrants. As of 2015, about 5.2 million immigrants live in India, making it the 12th-largest immigrant population in the world. The overwhelming majority of India’s immigrants are from neighboring countries such as Bangladesh (3.2 million), Pakistan (1.1 million), Nepal (540,000) and Sri Lanka (160,000).


Riaz Haq said...

In Pakistan’s Karachi, South Indian immigrants keep the taste of Tamil food alive over decades


The southern Pakistani province of Sindh is home to a small community of Tamils, a Dravidian ethno-linguistic group, who migrated from southern India in the 1930s. There are around 5,000 Tamils currently living in Pakistan, who include Muslims, Hindus and Christians, according to the Swamis, according to the community members. Some of these families have been settled in the Pakistani culinary and commercial hub of Karachi since the pre-partition British Colonial era.

The small community speaks Tamil, which is the official language of India’s Tamil Nadu state, while some of its prominent dishes include dosa (a thin pancake made from a fermented batter of ground black lentils and rice), idli (savoury rice cake usually served in breakfast), upma (a thick savory porridge made from dry-roasted semolina) and vada (savoury fried snacks made with ground chickpeas and lentils).

“Over the years, the food [we make in Pakistan] has gone through a transition. It is inspired from the Pakistani cuisine. Some of the masalas (spices) have come in from here,” Swami, a 41-year-old Tamil Hindu who works as a manager at a software house in Karachi, told Arab News.

“[Similarly,] Tamils in Sri Lanka, their food is also inspired by some of the Sri Lankan cuisines.”

Tamil cuisine, according to the Swami family, originated in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu that has a rich history.

“We make vada during weddings at the Haldi ceremony,” said Swami’s sister, Sunita Swami, as she mixed the batter before frying it. “It takes place in the morning in our culture. So, we make daal chawal and this (vada). They are deep-fried.”

The savoury fried snack is made with split chickpeas and split lentils, which are ground after being left to soak in water overnight.

Swami’s grandparents moved to Karachi, now a bustling megapolis of more than 15 million, when the South Asian port city had been booming under the British Raj, while their fourth generation is currently residing in Pakistan, according to Swami’s another sister, Renuk Swami, who said it was the food and the language that connected Tamils all over the world, irrespective of the religion they practiced.

“Kolachi (former name of the port city) was a booming industry [back then]. So, he (grandfather) came for better prospects sometime in the late 1930s,” Renuka said. “In Sindh, particularly in Karachi, there would be around 300 households. They are spread across various localities in Karachi. In a land where Tamil [language] is alien, it kinds of connected people.”

Swami’s mother, Annadanam Swami, shared they make dosa on special occasions as it requires a lot of efforts.

They first grind rice and black lentils before combining the two and adding tarka (heated oil or ghee in which spices and onions are well-stirred and browned), according to Annadanam. It is then fried with minimal oil in a non-stick pan.

“People in India mostly make it daily. It is available everywhere now, but it originated in Tamil Nadu. Previously, only Tamils used to make it,” Annadanam said. “The filling is a chutney. It’s up to the people to have it with potato filling [too]. A Tamil will have it with chutney only. Now there are a lot of variations and fillings.”

Many people believe dosa is the only Tamil food, but reality is that rice dominate the Tamil cuisine, according to Swami.

“It [Tamil food] was here [in Pakistan] since the 1940s, but it came to prominence in the early or late 90s with dosa. Most people know dosa,” he said.

“As my father was also telling that they never used to eat roti in the beginning. Everything was rice. Tamil Nadu is a rice-eating nation. Roti came later. If you are not eating rice, you are not a Tamil. We grew up hearing that.”