Monday, June 15, 2015

Pakistani Hindu Population Among Fastest Growing in the World

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.

Hindu Population in West Pakistan Source: Census Data

`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 6.5 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.     

Top Countries With Hindu Populations Source: Pew Research Center
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 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:

Haq's Musings

Pakistani Textbooks Acknowledge Minorities' Contributions

Rising Tide of Intolerance Threatens Pakistan

Akhand Bharat Part of Indian Textbooks

Hindutva Distortions in Indian Textbooks

Fighting Agents of Intolerance in Pakistan

Muslim Scholars Must Fight Hate in Pakistan

South Asian Christians Celebrate Christmas in Fear

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's Vision

Pakistan Must Defeat Agents of Intolerance 

Celebrating Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah's Birthday


S Qureshi said...

It would be interesting to find out if any Hindu citizen of Pakistan, faces problem in moving to any other part of Karachi. BTW I never saw any news in media regarding Hindus facing discrimination while renting/ buying an apartment/ house or kids joining school in Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

your maps is complete mess. It is showing India, china having Islam majority and Indonesia and gulf countries as Hundu's. Plus there is no citation. You yourself made (fudged) this map. ANd how come Australia is not having enough christians.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "It is showing India, china having Islam majority and Indonesia and gulf countries as Hundu's. "

Read it carefully; it's a map of which religion is growing the fastest where, not the religion of the majority in each country. It's based on recent Pew Research findings.

Anonymous said...

Haq, couple of things :-

1. The only data which pew research suggest is that the fertility rate of Hindu is 3.2. It is doubtful how many of these 3.2 children born on an average per Hindu lady actually make it to their first birthday. Hindus being highly marginalized community have almost no representation in Pakistani politics. Thus I doubt that the economic condition of Hindus and more importantly their lack of security in Pakistan will allow them to even live.

2. Pakistan even refuses to issue basic documentation to their Hindu minority : , . Such lack of basic laws for minority like Hindus make it very difficult for them to access even the basic facilities such as insurance for pregnancy or birth certificates. In contrast India has a different civil code especially for Muslims to honour their (sick) tradition of marrying more than one wife.

I dont know what you are trying to imply with this mess of an article but I doubt it conveys any positive thing about condition of minorities in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: " The only data which pew research suggest is that the fertility rate of Hindu is 3.2. It is doubtful how many of these 3.2 children born on an average per Hindu lady actually make it to their first birthday. "

Pew data also shows Pakistani Hindu population increasing faster than the national population. Also, Census data shows percentage of Pakistan's Hindu population has been rising for several decades from 1.3% i first census in 1951 to 1.9% now.

Prakash said...

Amnesty International data is at odds with Pakistan Census Data. Here is a brief:

"In 1951, Hindus constituted 22 percent of the Pakistani population and the Hindu population was concentrated in East Pakistan which later became Bangladesh, while the Hindu population in West Pakistan was less than 2%. By 1998, the proportion of Hindus was down to around 1.7 percent."

"A 2005 report by the National Commission for Justice and Peace, a non-profit organization in Pakistan, found that Pakistan Studies textbooks in Pakistan have been used to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy-makers have attempted to inculcate towards the Hindus."

"Vituperative animosities legitimise military and autocratic rule, nurturing a siege mentality. Pakistan Studies textbooks are an active site to represent India as a hostile neighbour", the report stated. 'The story of Pakistan’s past is intentionally written to be distinct from, and often in direct contrast with, interpretations of history found in India. From the government-issued textbooks, students are taught that Hindus are backward and superstitious.' Further the report stated "Textbooks reflect intentional obfuscation. Today’s students, citizens of Pakistan and its future leaders are the victims of these partial truths".

Many Libraries at US Universities(that have South Asia Studies department) house propaganda or hate literature text books from countries around the world but one has to read it there - you cannot check it out. At Georgetown, there is a entire section devoted to Pakistan which includes School Curriculum books. A considerably smaller area covers books from a much bigger country - India!

Riaz Haq said...

Prakash quoting Amnesty:"In 1951, Hindus constituted 22 percent of the Pakistani population and the Hindu population was concentrated in East Pakistan which later became Bangladesh, while the Hindu population in West Pakistan was less than 2%. By 1998, the proportion of Hindus was down to around 1.7 percent."

This claim is thoroughly debunked by Anand Rangathan in a piece in News Laundry as follows:

"It is this author’s contention that the above conclusion is erroneous and that decimation, one which led to a decrease in the Hindu population of Pakistan by 90 per cent, never took 50 years to materialise. Decimation did happen, but in the months preceding or subsequent to the date of the partition. In other words, the cataclysmic reduction of the Hindu population of Pakistan had taken not 50 years but, rather, half a decade....From a healthy 14 per cent in 1941 – a figure some analysts say had reached 16 per cent by 1947 – the Hindu population came down to just 1.3 per cent in 1951. The decimation took five years not 50. After 1951, the Hindu population has hovered around the same 1.5-2 per cent mark."

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt of Pew Research report on Hindus:

Hindu fertility rates during the 2010-2015 period are 3.2 in Pakistan, 2.6 in Nepal and 2.5 in India. In many countries, Hindu fertility is below the 2.1 replacement level, including Australia (1.7), Indonesia (1.6), the United Kingdom (1.5) and South Africa (1.5).

Riaz Haq said...

#Karachi extortionist Vinod Kumar arrested in #Pakistan. Kumar has MBA and IT degrees.| Pakistan | Dunya News

KARACHI (Dunya News) – Highly educated in London and employed at a prestigious company in Malaysia, the man who used Skype to carry out extortion activities in Pakistan’s largest metropolitan has been arrested by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), Dunya News reported.

According to details, man identified as Vinod Kumar acquired the taste of gambling in casinos while studying in London and continued while working in Malaysia that resulted in him exhausting all his savings. Upon return to Pakistan, Kumar resorted to illegal means in order to continue his lavish spending.

Reportedly, the extortionist heavily used social media especially the communication tool Skype to deliver threats and carry out his activities. He reportedly received Rs 20 lakh from employees of an insurance company at one time, 10 lakh the second time and got arrested while receiving the 30 lakh installment the third time.

The Special Investigation Unit said that the suspect is being investigated and that the preliminary investigation has shown that the suspect’s friends provided him all the details about his targeted companies.

Riaz Haq said...

Lure of greener pastures? #Pakistani #Hindu doctor who fled to #India sells shoes in Ahmedabad … via @TOIAhmedabad

"In Pakistan, patients used to treat us like gods. Here we are forced to beg for jobs to stay alive," says Dr Jayram Lohana, 46, who used to earn Rs 1 lakh a month in Sindh before he came to India in 2012. In Ahmedabad, he works at his cousin's mobile store right next to the airport. "We escaped terrorists and found safety here, but nobody is willing to help us put our lives back on track," he says....As per the rules, Pakistanis can apply for Indian citizenship after staying here for seven years. The process takes another two to three years and then one encounters the red tape at MCI. Dr Girdharilal Sinchani, 42, knows it all too well. He did his MBBS from Karachi in 1997 and came to India in 2001. He got citizenship in February 2014 but has been waiting for MCI approval for the past 14 months. "We came here hoping for a better life, but while there is safety, we can't get jobs or buy property to live or do business."

Riaz Haq said...

Happy #Indian's prayer answered by the visa gods!!!! Celebrating exit from #Modi's #India …

Ajay said...

magine the threat and insecurity he must have faced in Pak to give up his career for this

Riaz Haq said...

Ajay: " magine the threat and insecurity he must have faced in Pak to give up his career for this"

Have you heard the term "irrational fear"? There r people everywhere who develop irrational fears based on media hype
THE official death toll from the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001 was 2,974. But in 2002 America's death toll on the roads grew by more than 1,500—casualties of the terrorism-inspired exodus from safe aeroplanes to dangerous motor cars. A swan washes up on a British shore, dead from bird flu, and the press panics, while the 3,000 people who die every year on the country's roads (13 times the number of people who have ever died from bird flu) go largely unremarked.

Human beings are notoriously bad at dealing with risk. Two new books explore why, and investigate the effects that misunderstanding risks can have on public policy. The first, an excellent work by a Canadian writer, Dan Gardner, is a broad meditation on the nature of risk, beginning with a psychological explanation for why people find it so difficult to cope. Mr Gardner analyses everything from the media's predilection for irrational scare stories to the cynical use of fear by politicians pushing a particular agenda.

His take on terrorism in the book's penultimate chapter is refreshing. He punctures ludicrous claims that “this conflict is a fight to save the civilised world” (George Bush) or that terrorism's threat is “existential” (Tony Blair), and expertly deflates the more self-serving statements made by the terrorism industry that has mushroomed since the September 11th attacks.

Mr Gardner never falls into the trap of becoming frustrated and embittered by the waste and needless worry that he is documenting. A personal anecdote about an unwise foray into a Nigerian slum in search of a stolen wallet disposes of the idea that the author is immune to the foibles he describes. What could easily have been a catalogue of misgovernance and stupidity instead becomes a cheery corrective to modern paranoia.

Riaz Haq said...

The data on Population by Religious Communities of Census 2011 show that between 2001 and 2011, Hindu population grew by 16.76 per cent, while that of Muslims by 24.6 per cent. The population of both communities grew faster during the previous decade, at 19.92 per cent and 29.52 per cent, respectively. As a long-term trend, say demographers, the communities’ growth rates are converging.
“This is completely along expected lines, and has been an ongoing process,” P. Arokiasamy, demographer and Professor at the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai, told The Hindu. “With rising education and changing family expectations, declining fertility is an expected demographic phenomenon. It begins among better educated groups with better access to health care — as in India’s southern States — and then other groups catch up and converge,” Dr. Arokiasamy explained. In Kerala, for instance, the Muslim fertility rate (while higher than among the Hindus) is extremely low, especially compared with all communities in the northern States, he said.
The numbers show that the sex ratio among Muslims, already better than among Hindus, has further improved.
The sex ratio among Muslims now stands at 951 females for every 1,000 males, substantially better than 936 in 2001, while among Hindus, it is 939 females for every 1,000 males, a slight improvement over the 2001 value of 931. Assam remains the State with the largest Muslim population as a proportion (34.22 per cent) and saw the largest increase in the Muslim proportion between 2001 and 2011, followed by Uttarakhand and Kerala.
Religion Numbers (Per cent of the population)
Hindu 96.63 crore (79.8 %)
Muslim 17.22 crore (14.2%)
Christian 2.78 crore (2.3%)
Sikh 2.08 crore (1.7%)
Buddhist 0.84 crore (0.7%)
Jain 0.45 crore (0.4%)
Other Religions & Persuasions (ORP) 0.79 crore (0.7%)
Religion Not Stated 0.29 crore (0.2%)
Growth rate
The growth rate of population in the decade 2001-2011 was 17.7%. The growth rate of population of the different religious communities in the same period was:
Religion Growth
Hindu 16.8%
Muslim 24.6%
Christian 15.5%
Sikh 8.4%
Buddhist 6.1%
Jain 5.4%
The Census data on religion comes after a significant delay; the 2001 Census data on religion was released in 2004 and the 2011 round results were expected in 2014. However, the numbers remained unreleased, even as a draft of the key data was selectively leaked earlier. The data comes in the backdrop of much fear-mongering over Muslims and their population, and RSS thinkers were quick to term the new data as proof of the end of Hindus, even while the numbers belie their claim.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan SC orders to rebuild #Hindu temple in KP - The Hindu …

Expressing dissatisfaction over the restoration work of a Hindu temple in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the provincial government to hire a renowned architect for rebuilding the shrine destroyed by fanatics in 1997.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja on Tuesday asked the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa authorities to come up with a plan to rebuild the Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj’s Samadhi in Teri village of Karak district.

The chief justice said that the order must not be defied and should be implemented at all cost.

The temple has been partially restored, but the court expressed dissatisfaction over it and order Karak Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shoaib Jadoon and provincial Home Secretary Arbab Mohammad Arif to hire an expert architect for proper restoration and renovation.

On April 16, the apex court had ordered the Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa government to restore and rebuild the temple, whose preservation has led to a rift between the minority community and local religious leaders.

During the hearing, the DC informed the court that its earlier order about the restoration of the temple had been carried out and a boundary wall was built around it.

But the court said that the efforts put in by the provincial administration were not enough and proposed construction of a new building instead of just erecting boundary walls.

The surrounding walls will spoil the area, observed the Chief Justice, recalling how a temple in Shahalmi Market, Lahore, was reconstructed by architect Kamil Khan, who had a clear understanding of architectural heritage and had provided free consultancy to rebuild the temple.

The Chief Justice said the court could ask the architect to conserve the temple.

The court asked the DC to report the court about the progress made in the restoration work during the next hearing on September 7.

The Hindu shrine was built at a place where Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj died in 1919 and buried in Teri village.

His followers were regularly visiting the place for worship till 1997 when some Muslim fanatics destroyed the temple and the land was allegedly occupied by a local influential cleric Mufti Iftikharuddin.

Dertef said...

@RiazHaq What do you think about the growing Hindu Population in Pakistan? Also, what are the possible implications if in the 2016 Pakistan Census, Hindus grow to 1.7% of the population?(up from 1.6% in 1998)

Manish said...

Thank you for your article, it makes me get a new perspective about the state of pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #HIndu student Rajnish Aneel Bhatia from #Sindh wins gold medal in international math competition …

An exceptionally bright student of PakTurk International School in Jamshoro has brought home a gold medal after competing in Math Challenge V hosted by the Pan-Asia International School in Bangkok.

Making Pakistan proud, Rajinish Aneel Bhatia of grade 7 bagged the gold medal in the international math competition.

Three other students from the same school also secured silver and bronze medals. Harun Yilmaz of grade 8 won a silver medal while Abdul Wasay Kandhir and Abdul Wasay Memon, of grade 7 and 8 respectively, bagged a bronze medal each.

Schools from all over Asia participated in the Math Challenge V held on November 17 and 18. The competition aims to encourage students to study and excel in math and critical thinking.

The prizes for gold, silver and bronze medalists are 3,000 THB, 2,100 THB, 1,500 THB respectively.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #Hindu visting #India says he's happy and safe in #Pakistan … via @ScoopWhoop

Ever wondered what it would be like to be part of the minority community in a supposedly religious nation, more specifically for a Hindu in Pakistan? Well, turns out it is a pretty regular affair, no Bollywood melodrama there. social entrepreneur with the PEAD foundation in Islamabad - paints a colourful picture of his home town in Umerkot, Sindh.

"We are a happy family with different identities. As a nation, we share the same food, clothes, buildings, laws, and events. All these elements are what bring us together under the same umbrella, then why do we look for reasons to hate each other?" Raj wrote in his blog post.

Raj visited India last month for a conference in Chandigarh. He says he was "bombarded with questions regarding the status of Hindus in Pakistan."

To which he replied: "I have always felt like a star of my country and I feel safe, which is why I am as loyal as any Muslim in the country. Pakistan doesn’t just belong to Muslims; it belongs to all the residents of its soil."

Raj argues with the common widespread notion that minorities in Pakistan are treated differently or pitied. He claims to be as much a part of the soil as the friends and families he has grown up with, and considers it a blessing to have been born to his homeland.

At least, all the ladies here reminded him that his name was easy to remember. "I believe I have Shahrukh Khan to thank for that," he says.

Riaz Haq said...

Pew Research: #Islam fastest growing religion in the world. #India to have largest #Muslim population (300m) by 2050

There were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010 – roughly 23% of the global population – according to a Pew Research Center estimate. But while Islam is currently the world’s second-largest religion (after Christianity), it is the fastest-growing major religion. Indeed, if current demographic trends continue, the number of Muslims is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century.

Although many countries in the Middle East-North Africa region, where the religion originated in the seventh century, are heavily Muslim, the region is home to only about 20% of the world’s Muslims. A majority of the Muslims globally (62%) live in the Asia-Pacific region, including large populations in Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Turkey.

Indonesia is currently the country with the world’s single largest Muslim population, but Pew Research Center projects that India will have that distinction by the year 2050 (while remaining a majority Hindu country), with more than 300 million Muslims.

The Muslim population in Europe also is growing; we project 10% of all Europeans will be Muslims by 2050.

How many Muslims are there in the United States?

According to our best estimate, Muslims make up just less than 1% of the U.S. adult population. Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study (conducted in English and Spanish) found that 0.9% of U.S. adults identify as Muslims. A 2011 survey of Muslim Americans, which was conducted in English as well as Arabic, Farsi and Urdu, estimated that there were 1.8 million Muslim adults (and 2.75 million Muslims of all ages) in the country. That survey also found that a majority of U.S. Muslims (63%) are immigrants.

Riaz Haq said...

Disillusioned #Hindus returning back to #Pakistan from #India via @timesofindia
en as Pakistani-origin singer Adnan Sami was granted Indian citizenship, many disillusioned families are going back to the neighbouring country after spending many years in Gujarat.
In the past one year, at least 100 families — most of them Sindhis and Kutchi Gujaratis — have returned to Pakistan after spending many years in Gujarat waiting for the elusive Indian citizenship. Many more are packing their bags saying their 'Ghar Wapsi' to India had proved an illusion.
Motiram Khatri, 37, who fled Pakistan in 2009 to settle in Ahmedabad, has applied to go back to Sindh. Khatri, a grocer in Pakistan, had started a mobile shop in Dehgam on the city outskirts to sustain his family of five. However, a police case was filed against him allegedly for violating visa rules which prohibit him from stepping out of the city.
"I could not get any job or place on rent in Ahmedabad. What crime did I commit if I went just 15 km from the city for my family's survival?" asked Khatri, who said he will revive his grocery business in Sindh once he returns to Pakistan.
Rambhai Bhimani, president of the Ahmedabad-Thara Lohana Samaj, confirmed that in the past one year, nearly 100 Hindu families, who had fled Pakistan and come to Gujarat for security and a better life, had gone back.
"It is ironical, Hindu organizations have launched 'Ghar Wapsi' campaign to bring Hindus who had converted to Islam back into their fold but they do little to embrace those who are their own," said Bhimani.

Dr Ramesh Lohana, 38, left his successful practice in Karachi in December 2012 for a secure life in Ahmedabad. Now, a disillusioned man, he is waiting for his children's exams to be over so that he can go back to Pakistan.
"My practice earned me Rs 2.5 lakh a month. Here, no hospital was willing to give me a job. I was forced to take up a supervisory job in a garments shop for Rs 25,000. Authorities and ordinary people look at us with suspicion. We feel like second-class citizens," said Dr Lohana who is preparing to leave in April.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's #Sikh Ranger Amarjeet Singh's debut at #Wagah border ceremony near #Lahore … #IndiaTV via @indiatvnews

Making for a historic moment, a Sikh ranger from Pakistan participated in the traditional Beating the Retreat Ceremony at Wagah Border, for the first time ever.

People from both the sides of the border welcomed the Sikh ranger with a huge round of applause when he came for the ceremony on Thursday evening. The surrounding filled with the sound of claps when he shook hands with the Indian ranger.

Named Amarjeet Singh, the ranger is the residence of Nankana Sahib, the holy city of Sikhs situated in Pakistan. He is said to be the first person ever from Sikh community to join the Pakistani army.

Media reports say that he has joined the Pakistan army in 2005 and completed training this year, after which he was included in the defences forces on the Wagah border.

Talking about his duty for Pakistan, Amarjeet said that he is proud of being a part of the Pakistani army and would happy to lay down his life for the nation.

Like Amarjeet, Gyan Chand was the first Hindu to join the Pakistani army in 2009. On the other hand, a Hindu ranger named Ashok Kumar lost his life while fighting for the Islamic nation in Waziristan. Though, Pakistan didn’t give him the status of a martyr which led to a serious controversy later.

Now, with Sikh ranger’s entry into Pakistan army, we hope the history doesn’t repeat itself.

Riaz Haq said...

Finally, A happy Hawa Devi leaves #India for her home in #Pakistan via @timesofindia

l the decks have been cleared for Pakistani resident Hawa Devi and two other of the family for her departure to Pakistan on Friday after which she boarded the Thar Express on Friday night for her destination. While confirming the departure permission to them, ASP (CID) Bharat Meghwal said that they have been ordered to leave the country after the matter was cleared by the higher authorities on top level.


Then based on the report in the TOI, the State's Human Rights Commission took the cognisance of the matter and called a report from the officials. Union Foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj also talk to Hindu Singh Sodha, President of the Seemant Lok Sangthan seeking details of the case. "After submitting the report, she invited me to Delhi and talked about the issue in detail assuring to pave the way for her departure. I am thankful that the new year has brought a good message for Hawa Devi and now she will be able to unite with her family," said Sodha.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to declare #Holi, #Dewali, #Easter national holidays #Hindu #Christian

The National Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution to take steps to declare Holi, Diwali and Easter as holidays for minorities.

The resolution was moved by Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani (PML-N) that, "This house is of the opinion that government should take steps to declare Holi, Diwali and Easter as closed holidays for minorities."

State Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Aminul Hasnat Shah speaking in the house said that the Interior Ministry has already given permission to heads of federal organisations, departments, and institutions to grant leave to minorities on their religious festivals.

If the government adheres to the resolution ─ which it is expected to ─ the Interior Ministry will issue a notification declaring the holiday.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Laws and Justice Pervaiz Rashid said that although he is not opposing the resolution, the number of holidays in Pakistan are more than any other country and the resolution should be reconsidered.

He added that all Pakistanis equally share each others joy and sorrow and that there is no discrimination on basis of religion and faith, adding every citizen is enjoying religious freedom.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousif and Parliamentary Secretary of Interior Minister Maryum Aurangzeb also did not oppose the resolution.

DC said...

Good, so it is established that you know basic maths. So amongst the "fastest growing Hindu population" what percentage of them have position of power, money, fame and status? Please dig more into this and I am sure you will get startling numbers, may be the number has increased from 3 individuals in 1951 to 5 in 2016. Great job Pakistan, you do care about your minorities.

Riaz Haq said...

DC: "Good, so it is established that you know basic maths. So amongst the "fastest growing Hindu population" what percentage of them have position of power, money, fame and status? Please dig more into this and I am sure you will get startling numbers, may be the number has increased from 3 individuals in 1951 to 5 in 2016. Great job Pakistan, you do care about your minorities."

Bigotry is no substitute for knowledge. There are Hindu politicians, members of parliament, ministers, bureaucrats, judges, lawyers, engineers, doctors, artists, fashion designers, etc in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Love jihad? #Hindutva group alleges "forced marriage" as Hindu girl ties knot with #Muslim boy in #India. #BJP #Modi

It's common for Hindu groups to allege "forced marriage" whenever a Muslim boy marries a Hindu girl in Pakistan. It's also true when such an interfaith union occurs in India as was recently the case in Mysore, Karnataka. Here's a report:

According to a report by NDTV, right-wing Hindu activists protested against the wedding outside the bride's home on 12 April, calling it "love jihad" and alleging that Shakeel, who is a Muslim, was forcing Ashitha, a Hindu, to convert to Islam by marrying her.
Since the time the two families collectively agreed to the marriage, members of Bajrang Dal and Mandya Vokkaligara Sangha opposed, claiming it was a case of love jihad.
"A group of people claiming to be Bajrang Dal activists came to our house on 12 April and said they wanted to guide my daughter. They demanded that she abandon her plans to marry Shakeel. When she refused, they made some remarks and my daughter started crying,” said Ashitha's mother, Uma Devi on speaking to The Indian Express.
"We told Bajrang Dal activists it is not love jihad, but a marriage between children of two friends. But they were not ready to listen to us," Dr Narendra Babu, Ashitha's father, was quoted saying by The Times of India.
After the Hindu groups had spoken to the parents, they staged protests outside the residence of the girl shouting love jihad slogan. The group dispersed after police intervention.
According to a report by The Hindu, local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists, terming them a case of 'love jihad', had launched a campaign against the families on Tuesday.
It was after police intervention that the protesters dispersed.
"Even if I get married to a Hindu guy, I have to practise traditions of his family. I'm in love with him and I'm getting happily married with the consent of our parents, " Ashitha had said, as reported by Deccan Chronicle.

ashwani said...

I was saddened to know that hindu sonly after 69 years of independence got the right even to celebrate their festival such as diwali and holi officially.
There is not even 1 important minister in pakistan who is a hindu unlike India.
Decimating the hindus and sikhs from pakistan is a sad reflection of the society of Pakistan , which breeds intolerance and ultimately breakdown. I wish every body is treated as human with humane approach.

Riaz Haq said...

An Interview of a #Pakistani #Hindu activist about breaking stereotypes! #Hindus live peacefully in #Pakistan.

Could you tell us about you, where you live, a bit about your family, what you do, etc?
I am Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Youth and Minority rights activist, graduated as a Medical Doctor from Liaquat university of Medical & Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sindh. Pursuing post graduation in the field of Psychiatric Medicine from the same insitution.
I was born in a town namely Thana Bula Khan, a Hindu Dominant town of Sindh, serving the biggest economy to the country because of most people into Business.
Half of family is into medical profession, so my father inspired me to be a medical Doctor like him. Since very begining of college days, I have been actively participatig in Youth led conferences about Interfaith Harmony, Democracy, Leadership, Peace, Climate Change and Youth empowement in Pakistan, India and United states.
Are there many Hindu families in Pakistan?
In Pakistan, Hindus are living very peacefully since thousands of years around the Indus Valley. Hindus were the real owners of the land. Since ages, Hindus have a very rich background. They are business oriented, educationists, philanthropists who always believed in the message of Humanity, Interfaith Harmony, Tranquility and Peace. Currently Hindus make up around two percent of the country’s 200 million people and they mostly live in southern Sindh province.
People compare pre and post 1971 statistics and assume that the Hindu population in Pakistan has drastically reduced when it is clear that Pakistan was dismembered in 1971 and the statistics would of course be different for only the western part of what was total of east and west Pakistan, then.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have been asked to ‘Go to India’ because you are a Hindu?
In my case, answer would be very simple, Just because I have been born into a particular religion, no one has ever told me off that I belong to a certain country. Infact in cities other than my birth city, I am treated like a celebrity. People are curious about the hindu customs and cultures and ask me a lot of questions. Indeed some people have come to shake hand with me only to see what a Hindu looks like.
But if one were to believe the media, then we are victims of religious extremism, Intolerance, religious discrimination and forceful religious conversion. Despite of having some basic and minor issues, We do celebrate each of our Festival including Dewali, Holi, Thadri, Raksha Bandhan with full Zeal and Zest with our fellow Countrymen.
I vividly remember very few-off situations when during a cricket match I was asked who I support. By then, I failed to comprehend the mindset behind the question.
I personally believe that there are ignorant people on both sides of the border. Lunatic people using these ‘Go to India’ or ‘Go to Pakistan’ tags and those setting examples of “Ghar wapsi” and “love jihad” are doing nothing but are only bringing disgrace to their communities and country.
Do you think Hindus and Muslims can live peacefully?
Since I belong to Sindh, I believe in the proposition that Hindus and Muslims can live peacefully. The cultural values of Sindh are mixture of Sufi Islam & Hinduism. Many cities of Sindh are exemplary in that. At times, a number of Muslim friends ask me, if they can join me for holi celebrations and can share the joys. Similarly, I feel no hesitation in celebrating the Eid with my Pakistani brothers and sisters. I believe that only thing which separates us from each other is the borders which we make in our mind and here I will second the Nelson Mandela that “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite” .

Riaz Haq said...

Very few #Pakistani Hindus fall for #Indian propaganda. Most regret going to #India. Want to go back home.

en as Pakistani-origin singer Adnan Sami was granted Indian citizenship, many disillusioned families are going back to the neighbouring country after spending many years in Gujarat.
In the past one year, at least 100 families — most of them Sindhis and Kutchi Gujaratis — have returned to Pakistan after spending many years in Gujarat waiting for the elusive Indian citizenship. Many more are packing their bags saying their 'Ghar Wapsi' to India had proved an illusion.
Motiram Khatri, 37, who fled Pakistan in 2009 to settle in Ahmedabad, has applied to go back to Sindh. Khatri, a grocer in Pakistan, had started a mobile shop in Dehgam on the city outskirts to sustain his family of five. However, a police case was filed against him allegedly for violating visa rules which prohibit him from stepping out of the city.
"I could not get any job or place on rent in Ahmedabad. What crime did I commit if I went just 15 km from the city for my family's survival?" asked Khatri, who said he will revive his grocery business in Sindh once he returns to Pakistan.

Rambhai Bhimani, president of the Ahmedabad-Thara Lohana Samaj, confirmed that in the past one year, nearly 100 Hindu families, who had fled Pakistan and come to Gujarat for security and a better life, had gone back.
"It is ironical, Hindu organizations have launched 'Ghar Wapsi' campaign to bring Hindus who had converted to Islam back into their fold but they do little to embrace those who are their own," said Bhimani.
Dr Ramesh Lohana, 38, left his successful practice in Karachi in December 2012 for a secure life in Ahmedabad. Now, a disillusioned man, he is waiting for his children's exams to be over so that he can go back to Pakistan.
"My practice earned me Rs 2.5 lakh a month. Here, no hospital was willing to give me a job. I was forced to take up a supervisory job in a garments shop for Rs 25,000. Authorities and ordinary people look at us with suspicion. We feel like second-class citizens," said Dr Lohana who is preparing to leave in April.

Riaz Haq said...

#Christians flee #Pakistan only to find more heartache and bigger challenges in their place of refuge in #Thailand …

Out of the frying pan into the fire.

Such a fate has befallen a Christian family who fled persecution in Pakistan only to realise later on that their situation has gone from bad to worse.

Interviewed by CBN News recently, Mustaq Faisal said he and his family had no choice but to abandon their home in Pakistan and flee to Thailand after he and his family were marked for death by their Muslim neighbours last year.

In quivering voice and eyes filled with tears, Faisal recalled an incident when their neighbours accused him of tearing pages from the Quran and threatened to kill his family in revenge.

"I was so scared. I told them I would never do anything like that to their holy book, but they didn't believe me," he said.

Faisal became so fearful that he decided to take his wife, Samina, and son, Joshua, to Thailand, imagining the latter as a country where they can start a new life and freely practice their Christian faith without being threatened by Muslim zealots.

He and his family filed an asylum application with the U.N. However, six months after arriving in Thailand, the U.N. agency responsible for protecting refugees still could not issue them any asylum document.

With his family's three-month tourist visa in Thailand having lapsed, Thai immigration police came to arrest them since overstaying a tourist visa is illegal in this Southeast Asian country.

"I was not at home when the Thai police came to our apartment," Faisal said. "My wife told them she was a heart patient and that they should not arrest her, but they didn't listen."

The police arrested Samina and Joshua and took them to the Immigration Detention Center (IDC).

Samina's heart condition worsened and she got very ill last Dec. 20, but Thai authorities refused to bring her to a hospital.

Faisal went to the U.N. office and pleaded officials there to help his sick wife. "I kept asking, I kept crying, but they did not listen to me," he told CBN News.

He also begged the guards in the detention facility to at least heart medications to her wife.

"I told them that if you don't do anything, she will die," he said. His plea fell on deaf ears.

Faisal's wife and son were detained in a facility where the illegal migrants were denied access to healthcare and medicines, according to Wilson Chowdhry, the director of British Pakistani Christian Association.

The facility houses 200 people crammed in rooms that barely fit 100 with only two toilets, according to Chowdhry.

"The stench as you walk in is overpowering," the Christian human rights advocate told CBS News.

Moreover, some of the male detainees were "chained like dogs," he added.

On Dec. 30, 2015, the U.N. finally responded to Faisal's asylum plea, but it was too late for his wife Samina who died in detention.

"My life is so terrible right now," Faisal said as tears streamed down his cheek. "We faced so many difficulties in Pakistan and that's why we escaped to Thailand. Now I'm here and my wife is dead! What am I supposed to do? My son keeps asking, 'Where is mommy?' But I don't have the courage to tell him the truth."

Six other Pakistani Christian refugees have also died in Thai detention centres.

Riaz Haq said...

#Diwali celebration in #Pakistan's Thar desert with lights and fireworks in #Mithi … via @scroll_in

For the five days of the autumn festival, Mithi celebrates like no-one else in Pakistan. As soon as the evening pooja finishes, the sleepy desert town of over 25,000 turns into a carnival of lights.

It was to witness this transformation that I travelled to Mithi last year with a writer and a business student. The writer was working on an assignment and had visited Thar a few times in the past, while the student had volunteered to assist her in the project. Our outlooks and ambitions were very different, but somehow experiencing Diwali in Mithi was important to all of us.

Mithi, after all, is among the few towns in Pakistan where Muslims are not in majority, a place where both Hindus and Muslims have lived together harmoniously. Its Diwali is a symbol of this amity, an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

We stopped at some crowded fireworks shops, fighting at first for space. But then people realised there were women amongst them. Out of respect, they let the writer and the student select fireworks. It was then I noticed that there were no women in the bazaar. The writer, as if reading my mind, turned and told me that the women must be busy at pooja. We closed the deal and made our way to Krishna Mandir at the other end of the bazaar.

The temple’s entrance was decorated with fairy lights. It seemed to have undergone many renovations and, in places, I could see fragments of old colourful Belgian tiles below newer gaudy ones. I walked in anxiously, fearing that people may not appreciate an outsider filming them. The writer sensed the hesitation and led me to the inner portico, striking the temple bell while crossing it. No-one seemed to care – people were busy lighting diyas, performing pooja, taking selfies and setting up fireworks.

As another wave of people came in, the writer said that perhaps the pooja was over.

Riaz Haq said...

Bridge in #Pakistan's Sindh province named after #Hindu shrine via @TOICitiesNews

In a first for Pakistan, a bridge constructed in Sindh province's Ghotki district has been named after a Hindu temple, a lawmaker from the neighbouring country has claimed.
A member of the Pakistan national assembly from Larkana, Vijay Lal, informed TOI on Monday that the Hindu community in Sindh had been for long demanding to connect Sacho Satram Dham (SSD) and Devri Sahib temples at Raharki village, Ghotki, which are divided by a river.
Earlier, devotees had to take a long, tedious route to reach the other side of the river to pay obeisance at the temple, he said. "It was almost impossible for them to travel at night," he said.
Lal said he had taken up the issue with former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari and, on getting his nod, construction of the 1.25km bridge began. Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari inaugurated the structure, costing 24 crore in Pakistani Rupees and named SSD Century Celebration Bridge, on November 4.

SSD is one of biggest Hindu places of worship in Sindh and is spread over 300 acres. Lal said more than 60,000 Hindus lived in Ghotki.
Lal has also said reports of persecution of Hindus and Sikhs in the neighbouring country had been 'exaggerated'. He also rubbished reports that young women were being forced to convert to Islam.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #Hindu bride, #Indian groom get married after visa clearance - Pakistan - Dunya News

An Indian groom and Pakistani bride were finally able to happily tie knot after the unnerving visa issue was resolved.

It all happened when the bride Priya Bachchani and her family got no response from the Indian High Commission after applying for the visa in August.
As the chances got bleak, the groom Naresh Tewani from Jodhpur in North India tagged India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Twitter, seeking her urgent help in the matter.

In reply to the tweet, Sushma assured Naresh that all members of the bride’s family will get visas to attend the wedding.

As the matter was settled, the couple thanked the minister for her assistance.

Naresh Tewani and Priya Bachchani had been engaged for three years and get married on November 7.

"Love triumphs ultimately. Love prevails in both the countries and that’s why we are here," the bride’s father, Giridharlal Bachchani told to BBC Urdu.

The groom’s father said he was relieved after facing "some nervous weeks due to visa delays".

India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads since their independence from Britain in 1947 and have fought three wars, including two of the divided territory of Kashmir which both countries claim as their own in full.

Military and diplomatic tensions have soared since a recent raid on an Indian army base near the de-facto border dividing Kashmir killed 19 soldiers, the worst such attack in more than a decade.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan capital #Islamabad to get #Hindu temple, community centre, cremation ground …

Hindus living in the Pakistani capital would soon have their major demands met after a decision by authorities to allocate land for a temple, community centre and cremation ground.

The decision was taken yesterday in a meeting of Capital Development Authority (CDA), which is responsible for development and civil amenities in Islamabad.

The Express Tribune reported that CDA approved the allocation of a half-acre plot of land in Sector H-9 of the capital for a Hindu temple, community centre and cremation ground in the federal capital.

"It was a longstanding demand of the Hindu community which has finally been fulfilled," the paper reported.

There are around 800 Hindus living in Islamabad, and in the absence of a temple, they were forced to celebrate Diwali and other religious festivities at home.

As there was no crematorium in the city, they also had to take the bodies either to Rawalpindi or to their hometowns for cremation.

The only large temple in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi is Krishna Mandir in Saddar although a few smaller ones exist in residential parts of Rawalpindi cantonment.

The CDA board allocated the plot close to one that had already been allocated to the All Pakistan Buddhist Society.

Riaz Haq said...

Yoginder Sikand, author of "Beyond the Border" on Sindhi Hindus in Pakistan

Following the partition, most of the wealthy Hindus of Hyderabad fled to India. Only some of them, mainly the Amils and the Lohanas, remained in the town after Pakistan came into being, Ran-ji said. A few had flourished in the new country but, particularly in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid in India in 1992 and the ensuing mass violence against Muslims across the border, what had been a trickle of Sindhi Hindu migrants to India had threatened to turn into a flood. Hundreds of Hindu temples, many of them small roadside shrines, others large, unused structures, had been destroyed across Pakistan, including in Sindh, where most the country's Hindus lived. Mercifully, Ram-ji said, less than a score of Hindus were killed in the violence, nothing compared to the thousands of Muslims who were slaughtered by Hindu mobs in India. ....Increasing number of Sindhi Hindu merchants had begun to send at least one of their sons to settle in India and set up business there, so that in the event of the conditions for Hindus in Sindh worsening they could, if they felt compelled to, migrate en masse across the border. But this was not an option for the vast majority of Sindh's Hindus. Eighty percent of the Hindus in the province were desperately impoverished Dalits....Procuring a passport, traveling more than a thousand miles to Islamabad to apply for a visa at the Indian High Commission, and the taking the train from Lahore to Amritsar was much beyond their meager means. But, even if they managed to get to India, were would they go? Who would employ them? "And", Ram-ji added matter-of-factly, "in India, too, they would still be treated as Untouchables".

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts of "The Making of Exile: Sindhi Hindus and the Partition of India" by Nandita Bhavnani

"Many Dalits who migrated (whether at the time of partition or subsequently) faced humiliation and discrimination at the hands of caste Hindus in India after Partition. In some cases, they were taken by separate ships or trains. Tillo Jethmalani, who was subsequently posted as camp commandant at Marwar Junction, recalls how one goods train filled with Dalit refugees from Sindh arrived in the middle of Rajasthan winter night, with Dalits lying freezing and semi-conscious inside the goods wagons. Even in refugee camps in India, Dalits were given separate living quarters and dining areas, thus maintaining the status quo of ghettoization."

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan has 2nd largest population of migrants from #India. More #Indian #Muslims, minorities migrate than #Hindus

India is the top source of international migrants, with one-in-twenty migrants worldwide born in India. As of 2015, 15.6 million people born in India were living in other countries. India has been among the world’s top origin countries of migrants since the United Nations started tracking migrant origins in 1990. The number of international Indian migrants has more than doubled over the past 25 years, growing about twice as fast as the world’s total migrant population.

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 migrants, with 2 million.

Almost 2 million more live in the U.S., making up the country’s third-largest immigrant group. Among Indian Americans, nearly nine-in-ten were born in India. As a whole, Indian Americans are among the highest educated and have some of the highest income among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

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).

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.

Sriman said...

There was one deer by the park near my home. Of late I have been noticing three deers. We are happy that there has been a 200% appreciation and this has to be better than any preservation programs in any part of the world. Wanted to share this with you and your viewers.

Riaz Haq said...

Sriman: "here was one deer by the park near my home. Of late I have been noticing three deers. We are happy that there has been a 200% appreciation and this has to be better than any preservation programs in any part of the world."

I'd agree with the analogy if the numbers were in millions, not ones or twos.

BTW, Pakistan has 2 million Indian migrants, the 2nd largest population of Indian migrants in the world after UAE. There are more Indian migrants in Pakistan than in the United States.

Meanwhile, the number of Pakistani migrants in India is only 1 million, a half of Indian migrants in Pakistan, according to Pew Research.

Anonymous said...

islam is a social malady which needs to be eradicated as soon as possible . pakistan is a grabage country . i m from india /.

Riaz Haq said...

Soldier Bazaar in diverse #Karachi, #Pakistan. #Christian #Hindu #Muslim #Parsee #Muhajir #Punjabi #Gujarati #Sindhi

Soldier bazaar, near Jamshed Town in the Garden East area of Karachi, houses a beautiful, diverse society where people with all sorts of backgrounds coexist and support each other.

The majority is Muslim, but mixed in them are Hindus, Christians and people belonging to all sorts of ethnicities – Punjabi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Muhajir, Balochi, Parsi, Memon, Gujarati and others.

As a street photographer and story writer, I had long wished to observe Soldier Bazaar and its community firsthand. Finally, this June, I got the chance.

It was a hot day, and we were on our city tour with the 'I am Karachi' team to explore the city's landmarks. As we entered the Soldier Bazaar area, it became fairly clear that this was a low-income area, and the market was full of second hand material.

During our discussion with the locals there, Faheem, a chicken shop owner told us, "There is no mobile snatching and robbery in Soldier Bazaar. You are free to roam on the streets at whatever time of the day, no one will dare loot or even touch you. This is one of Karachi's most peaceful societies."

It was noon and our team was buzzing with excitement to document this fantastic bazaar. We roamed the streets freely, cameras in our hands, with shopkeeper and pedestrian warmly welcoming us and happily telling us about their lives in the area.

I decided to start from a sugarcane juice stall, which is the most preferred summer drink in the locality.

On the right side of the road, beside the stall of the sugarcane juice, is a big building where we sat sipping the sweet beverage, wondering how old this building was. That is when some people sitting at the floor of the building called us and introduced us to the owner.

It turned out that the building was owned by one Imtiaz Khan, who was the only son of Bahadur Khan, who worked for the British in 1929, selling grass to earn a living.

Imtiaz is still living his life peacefully in Soldier Bazaar, seemingly unaffected by all the change around him. For him, if things are bad in the country today; they will be better tomorrow.

Riaz Haq said...

#India is the 4th worst country for religious violence. #Pakistan is 10th, according to Pew Research. #GauRakshaks

India historically touts itself as a secular state, one where all religions are recognized and can peacefully co-exist. Well, at least in theory, it is. Unfortunately, the reality is much different.
An April 11 Pew Research Center analysis of 198 countries ranked India as fourth worst in the world for religious intolerance. In the country of 1.3 billion, the incidence of hostility related to religion trailed only Syria, Nigeria and Iraq, all places where sectarian violence is widespread.
India is not alone in seeing more religious unrest. Globally, Pew says, government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion increased in 2015 for the first time in three years.
Pew analyzed cases that involved hate crimes, mob violence, communal violence, religion-related terror, the use of force to prevent religious practice, the harassment of women for not conforming to religious dress codes, and violence over conversion or proselytizing.

Riaz Haq said...

Selected Rankings - 2016
in the world
Population - Age 15-19
22,097,116 people
in the world
Infant Mortality Rate
53.86 per 1,000 births

Birth Rates - 2016

· Gross Reproduction Rate 1.31 Per 1,000 Rank: 66
· Ratio at Birth - Male to Female 1.05 Ratio Rank: 88
· Total Fertility Rate 2.68 Births Per Woman Rank: 67
· Fertility Rate
· 15-19 31.20 Per 1,000 Women Rank: 97
· 20-24 113.80 Per 1,000 Women Rank: 80
· 25-29 163.00 Per 1,000 Women Rank: 59
· 30-34 129.40 Per 1,000 Women Rank: 61
· 35-39 64.70 Per 1,000 Women Rank: 75
· 40-44 26.90 Per 1,000 Women Rank: 64
· 45-49 7.80 Per 1,000 Women Rank: 55

Growth Rates - 2016

· Growth Rate 1.45 Percent Rank: 78
· Natural Growth 1.59 Percent Rank: 69
· Births Per 1000 22.28 Per 1,000 Rank: 69
· Net Migrants per 1000 -1.41 Per 1,000 Rank: 165

Mortality Rates - 2016

· Life Expectancy 67.73 Years Rank: 169
· Female 69.77 Years Rank: 171
· Male 65.79 Years Rank: 166
· Deaths Per 1000 6.40 Per 1,000 Rank: 153
· Infant Mortality Rate 53.86 Per 1,000 Births Rank: 29
· Female 50.55 Per 1,000 Births Rank: 28
· Male 57.01 Per 1,000 Births Rank: 31
· Mortality Rate - Age 1-4 17.71 Per 1,000 Births Rank: 48
· Female 17.42 Per 1,000 Births Rank: 49
· Male 18.00 Per 1,000 Births Rank: 47
· Mortality Rate - Under Age 5 70.62 Per 1,000 Births Rank: 36
· Female 67.09 Per 1,000 Births Rank: 35
· Male 73.98 Per 1,000 Births Rank: 38

Land Area

· Area
· Square Miles 310,403
· Square Kilometers 803,940
· Area Rank
· Asia Rank: 8
· Worldwide Rank: 36

Riaz Haq said...

Forced Marriage? Male Guardianship of Adult Women? Love Jihad? #India SC upholds controversial Marriage Annulment.

Widespread shock as supreme court endorses dissolution of union between woman from Hindu family and Muslim man and orders forced marriage inquiry

The woman, Akhila Ashokan, who prefers to be known as Hadiya, converted to Islam from Hinduism while studying medicine in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Last year, she met Shafin Jahan, a Muslim, and they married in December. Her livid father went to the Kerala high court demanding that Hadiya be returned to his custody.

In May, the court nullified the wedding and forcibly sent Hadiya back to her parental home in Kottayam despite her express wish not to return. The controversial judgment said Hadiya was “weak and vulnerable, capable of being exploited in many ways” and that “her marriage being the most important decision in her life, can also be taken only with the active involvement of her parents”.

On Wednesday, the supreme court ruled that India’s National Investigation Agency, which investigates terrorism, must assess whether Hadiya converted freely to Islam or was part of a “love jihad” – a phrase used by some Hindu fringe groups to allege that Muslim men are forcing Hindu women into marriage.

Hadiya has had virtually no contact with anyone outside her parents’ home since May. Local reporters say she has no phone or internet access and the house is guarded by police officers. A police officer quoted in the local media said social isolation had made Hadiya depressed.

Riaz Haq said...

In #Pakistan's #coal rush, some #women drivers break cultural barriers. #Hindu #Thar #energy #Sindh

As Pakistan bets on cheap coal in the Thar desert to resolve its energy crisis, a select group of women is eyeing a road out of poverty by snapping up truck-driving jobs that once only went to men.

Such work is seen as life-changing in this dusty southern region bordering India, where sand dunes cover estimated coal reserves of 175 billion tonnes and yellow dumper trucks swarm like bees around Pakistan’s largest open-pit mine.

The imposing 60-tonne trucks initially daunted Gulaban, 25, a housewife and mother of three from Thar’s Hindu community inside the staunchly conservative and mainly-Muslim nation of 208 million people.

“At the beginning I was a bit nervous but now it’s normal to drive this dumper,” said Gulaban, clad in a pink saree, a traditional cloth worn by Hindu women across South Asia.

Gulaban - who hopes such jobs can help empower other women facing grim employment prospects - is among 30 women being trained to be truck drivers by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), a Pakistani firm digging up low-grade coal under the rolling Thar sand dunes.

Gulaban has stolen the march on her fellow trainees because she was the only woman who knew how to drive a car before training to be a truck driver. She is an inspiration to her fellow students.

“If Gulaban can drive a dump truck then why not we? All we need to do is learn and drive quickly like her,” said Ramu, 29, a mother of six, standing beside the 40-tonne truck.

Until recently, energy experts were uncertain that Pakistan’s abundant but poor-quality coal could be used to fire up power plants.

That view began to change with new technology and Chinese investment as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key branch of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative to connect Asia with Europe and Africa.

Now coal, along with hydro and liquefied natural gas, is at the heart of Pakistan’s energy plans.

SECMC, which has about 125 dump trucks ferrying earth out of the pit mine, estimates it will need 300-400 trucks once they burrow deep enough to reach the coal.

Drivers can earn up to 40,000 rupees ($380) a month.

Women aspiring to these jobs are overcoming cultural barriers in a society where women are restricted to mainly working the fields and cooking and cleaning for the family. Only this week in Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Pakistan, women were granted permission to drive for the first time ever, ending a ban that was supported by conservative clerics but seen by rights activists as an emblem of suppression.

Gulaban’s husband, Harjilal, recalled how people in Thar would taunt him when his “illiterate” wife drove their small car.

Riaz Haq said...

Kiran Sadhwani is the first Thari #Hindu #female engineer at #Thar #Coal Project in #Pakistan. #CPEC #Energy

Sadhwani, who belong to the Lohana – a Hindu community – was the first girl in her community to study engineering or even to attend a university. Born into a middle class family in Mithi, she received her primary and intermediate education in her hometown and later went on to study at Mehran University of Engineering Technology.

Apart from her work, Sadhwani loves to volunteer. For the first time in the country’s history, when the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) launched its Female Dump Truck Driver Programme near the town of Islamkot in Thar, Sadhwani visited several villages to motivate women to apply for the job and empower themselves. “Not all women who are working as dumper drivers are poor or in dire need of money. It is just that they want to work and earn a living for themselves and improve the lives of their families,” she explained.

Sadhwani loves to play table tennis, read books and listen to music. In the future, she hopes to continue to work for Thar’s prosperity and development.

Out of 25 successful candidates, Sadhwani is the only female working at the site. “When I came for the final interview my father insisted I would have to commute every day as he wouldn’t allow me to live near the site where many other officers and workers live,” she said.

“I wanted to reside at the site so I could visit the mining site easily and learn in the field. I didn’t want to live in my comfort zone by just confining myself to office work so I persuaded my father to allow me to stay there,” she explained.

Sadhwani’s father, who then visited the site and met the officials at the site, allowed his daughter to live there. Now Sadhwani visits her home in Mithi every fortnight. “I was over the moon as I had got the opportunity and a platform to prove myself,” she said. In Tharparkar women are kept in their comfort zones and Kiran wanted to leave hers.

“Just like most parents, my parents also wanted me to study medical as engineering was too difficult a profession for a girl. It was the first challenge I faced but after continued efforts I succeeded in persuading them,” she explained. “I told them it’s not just medical or teaching professions where women can work and excel. It is actually their passion that leads to success,” Sadhwani said.

It is very important to change peoples’ mind-set, which is not an easy job in Thar, not even for the hundreds of non-governmental organisations working in the region.

Riaz Haq said...

KARACHI: Renowned fashion designer Deepak Perwani, along with almost a dozen other people, announced joining the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Sunday.

The announcement was made at a press conference held by MQM-P chief Farooq Sattar in Karachi.

Other who announced joining the party included former bureaucrat Javed Hanif, trader Khurram Rasool, Saman Laiq Abbasi, former PTI leader Farooq Dadi, Alamgir Feroz, Taufeeq Kochin and Imtiaz Ali.

Most of them are civil society members and from business community

safalta said...

Hello Mr. Haq, would you have any knowledge on the current localities of Hindu population in Karachi? Where do they reside and their numbers?

Riaz Haq said...

safalta: "would you have any knowledge on the current localities of Hindu population in Karachi? Where do they reside and their numbers?"

I don't have such details. I don't believe Hindus are ghetto-ized in Karachi. They live in the same neighborhoods as Muslims.

Here's a link to the Facebook page of Karachi's Hindu community:

Riaz Haq said...

PPP nominates Thari Hindu woman to contest Pakistan Senate polls on general seat

Pakistan People’s Party has nominated Krishna Kumari, a Kolhi woman belonging to a remote village in Nagarparkar district of Thar, to contest for a general seat during the upcoming Senate election.

Kumari is a social activist who joined PPP along with her brother, who was elected chairman of union council Berano. She has reportedly been asked by the party leadership to file nomination papers to contest the upcoming Senate election on PPP ticket.

Born to a poor peasant Jugno Kolhi in February 1979, Kumari and her family members spent nearly three years in a private jail allegedly owned by the landlord of Kunri of Umerkot district. She was a grade 3 student at the time when held captive.

Kumari was married to Lalchand at the age of 16, when she was studying in 9th grade. However, her husband supported her in pursuing studies, as later in 2013 she did masters in sociology from Sindh University. She also actively participated and worked for the rights of downtrodden people of marginalised communities living in Thar and other areas.

When contacted, Kumari told Dawn that she was given assurances by senior party leaders that they would get her elected as Senator “to set a new precedent and empower women from remote areas and minority communities”.

Provincial minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah, MNA Dr Nafisa Shah, MPA Dr Mehesh Kumar Malani and other PPP leaders had requested the party leadership in this regard, she said.

"I was called by Bilawal Bhutto and Faryal Talpur a few days back. They said they will allot me the ticket to contest the election to become a senator on a general seat from Sindh," Kumari maintained.

Kumari said she has made all the arrangements and documentation needed to file her nomination papers after she was made the candidate by party leaders.

PPP lawmaker from Thar Dr Mahesh Kumar Malani, when contacted by Dawn, confirmed that the party had decided to give Kumari a ticket and hoped that a Kolhi girl — from the family of the valiant freedom fighter Rooplo Kolhi — would be elected with majority votes.

Rooplo Kolhi had waged a war against the invading British colonialist forces when they had attacked Sindh from Nagarparkar side in 1857. Subsequently, he was arrested and hanged by the Britishers on August 22, 1858.

Dr Malani termed it a great decision by the party chairman to select a Thari woman to represent Thar in the Upper House.

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...

"Even #Muslims voted for me,’ says first #Hindu candidate to win a general seat in #Pakistan Assembly.“I want to tell the international media that my victory shows that there is inter-faith harmony and humanity in Pakistan,” Malani said. … via @scroll_in

Malani polled 19,379 more votes than his nearest rival, Arbab Zakaullah, of the Grand Democratic Alliance, which had an electoral understanding with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Sindh. In the fray were 12 other candidates, all Muslims, who together polled 28,696 votes.

Theoretically, it can be argued that Hindus consolidated behind Malani and Muslim votes split, consequently giving Malani the seat. This point was made by Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a nominated Hindu member of the outgoing National Assembly. “Had I stood, Hindu votes would have been divided and Malani would not have won,” he said. Vankwani said that he had told Khan that he wished to stand from the Tharparkar seat that was given to the Grand Democratic Alliance.

Riaz Haq said...

Aditya Menon tweet:

3 Hindu candidates won from Muslim majority general seats in Sindh, Pakistan. Presently in India, no Muslim has been elected from a Lok Sabha seat that has over 70% Hindu population

Three Hindu candidates of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were elected from the Muslim-majority areas in Pakistan’s Sindh province in the 25 July general elections, a media report said on Tuesday, 31 July.

Mahesh Malani won a National Assembly seat from Tharparkar (NA-222) , while Hari Ram Kishwari Lal and Jamshoro’s Giyanoo Mal alias Giyan Chand Essrani were elected from the provincial assembly seats PS-147 and PS-81, respectively, the Daily Times reported.

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. 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

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.

Miken said...

What about Hindu jati and schedule caste Hindu population counting separately in census?

Riaz Haq said...

Hard Times Have #Pakistani Hindus Looking to #India, Where Some Find Only Disappointment. Current migration is because of #Modi’s open appeals to #Hindu identity in India. But lower #caste Hindus have been beaten for drinking water from upper caste well.

This is not the Hindu paradise they had crossed the border to join, they said. This is not the India Mr. Modi promised them.

In Pakistan, local officials say the pressure for Hindus to weigh moving to India has not been this great since a wave of sectarian violence led many to migrate in the 1990s, after a Hindu mob in India tore down a 16th-century mosque, the Babri Masjid, leading to retaliatory attacks in Pakistan.

The current migration is because of Mr. Modi’s open appeals to Hindu identity in India, they say, stripping the country of the secular framework it was founded on to give supremacy to their religion.

Since Mr. Modi’s election victory, Pakistani Hindus say they have had an easier time obtaining religious or pilgrimage visas to India, which they can then convert to long-term visas if they seek Indian citizenship.

Though the exact number of Hindu migrants is hard to pin down, indications of a wider push to go to India can be seen in the numbers of those long-term visas. In 2018, the Indian government granted 12,732 long-term visas, compared with 4,712 in 2017, and 2,298 in 2016, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. About 95 percent of long-term visas are granted to Pakistani Hindus, officials say.

Millions of Hindus remained in Pakistan when Britain carved out the state from the subcontinent to create a Muslim homeland at independence in 1947. They were unwilling to abandon their homes and businesses, like the millions of Muslims who ended up on the Indian side during partition, where now about 200 million live.


Even among Pakistani Hindus who are considering going to India, there are very real reasons to hesitate.

Kumar is one who is torn. Though he was shaken by the recent violence in his hometown, he said he was still reluctant to pick up and leave when the trains start running again. He has said goodbye to neighbors who have migrated to India, only to see them return to Pakistan months or years later, disappointed.

Bhagchand Bheel is one of the disappointed. When he migrated to India in 2014, he was grateful to leave the violence and pressure of Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial hub. He boarded the Thar Express to Zero Point Station, the last stop before the border, where he and his family lugged their bags by foot into India, settling in a camp in the city of Jodhpur.

He was among his people, he thought, and could finally be free. But he is of a lower caste, and when he tried to enter a Hindu temple, he was barred entry by the priest because of it, he said. And when a friend tried to drink from the community water well, he was physically assaulted by upper caste Brahmins who accused him of polluting it.

“In Pakistan, the only thing that matters is if you are Hindu or Muslim,” said Mr. Bheel, whose last name is derived from his tribe. “Because we are Hindus, in Pakistan we were discriminated against. But in India, I face discrimination because I’m a Bheel.”


Mr. Bheel is wracked by doubt, the same doubt his grandfather had when he chose to keep the family in Pakistan during partition. Did he make the right choice?

He left his home and siblings in Karachi, trading a lucrative job as an administrator of a medical clinic there to live as a migrant in India. His medical diploma, one of the few possessions he brought with him, hangs proudly on a wall, although it is not valid in India. He struggles to make ends meet here.

Riaz Haq said...

No, Pakistan's non-Muslim population didn't decline from 23% to 3.7% as BJP claims
During the debate on the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, the BJP repeatedly claimed that population of religious minorities in Pakistan has declined from 23% in 1947 to 3.7% in 2011. Analysis of official data however shows this argument is faulty.

Taking Pakistan's Census 1951 as benchmark for our analysis, we find that while raising the issue of religious persecution in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the BJP mixed-up data for the two regions.

Firstly, it said non-Muslims once comprised 23 per cent of Pakistan's population. The fact rather is that non-Muslims comprised 23 per cent of only East Pakistan's population, not the entire country. Taken together (East plus West Pakistan), share of non-Muslims was 14.20 per cent (the highest ever) in 1951.

Secondly, the BJP claimed that share of non-Muslims reduced from 23 per cent to 3.7 per cent in Pakistan. This too is incorrect because share of non-Muslims in Pakistan has hovered around 3.5 per cent from the first census onwards.

1951: 3.44 per cent
1961: 2.80 per cent
1972: 3.25 per cent
1981: 3.33 per cent
1998: 3.70 per cent

Thirdly, the BJP is correct in saying that the percentage share of non-Muslims has decreased significantly in Bangladesh. But it is wrong in saying that the decline was from 22 per cent to 7.8 per cent. As per official census data, the decline was from 23.20 per cent in 1951 to 9.40 per cent in 2011.

Fourthly, BJP has argued that religious persecution was the reason for decline of non-Muslim population in Bangladesh. There is no denying that religious minorities were brutally persecuted for decades in East Pakistan and later also in Bangladesh. It is a fact that hundreds of them were raped, murdered and forcibly converted into Islam.

Riaz Haq said...

In pictures: #Pakistani #Hindu community defy #coronavirus to celebrate #Holi2020 festival across the country. Thousands come out on streets to splash colours while #Muslim friends also join them

LAHORE: Members of Hindu community dancing and throwing colours during their Holi celebrations at Neela Gumbad G Sawami Temple in Lahore.

Holi celebrations in Lahore. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has sent his good wishes to the Hindu community on the occasion of their festival of Holi.

Pakistani Hindu celebrate the Holi festival in Karachi on March 9, 2020. Holi, the popular Hindu spring festival of colours is observed in India and across countries at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month.

Members of Hindu community dancing and throwing colours during their Holi celebrations in Hyderabad. The festivities mainly happened in Hyderabad, the second largest city of southern province of Sindh. Temples were decorated with colours and special prayers were also offered there for development and prosperity of the country.

Jubilant Hindu community in Hyderabad during Holi celebrations. Holi marks the end of winter and the start of spring. This year, the Hindu community across the globe celebrated the day on March 9.

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.