Situation of Human Rights of Hindus in Pakistan
In the 21st century, during this trying time, we have advanced as a whole, as a diverse and united community. In 2019, the United States as a country moved backwards when it came to the fair treatment of all individuals, following President Donald Trump’s false narratives, sexist and racist statements, undermined the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, and has further weakened the ability of many Americans to obtain affordable health care.
However, compared to the declining situation in America, Pakistan and other Islamic countries in the Middle East have it much, much worse. As a Hindu myself, I was shocked to find out that many Hindu’s living in Pakistan does not have basic rights. To get down to one of the very foundations of all countries – namely education – 5 million children, those of primary school age, are currently not attending school. Furthermore, the majority of those students are females, unable to attend school because of the lack of schools in rural areas, gender discrimination, and child marriage. Many of us even have a hard time imagining this, let alone accept the fact that this is reality.
What’s even more shocking is the fact that this is only the beginning of it. Pakistan’s print and media have for decades portrayed India as an enemy of Pakistan’s, the result of which furthered many stereotypes among Pakistanis. They have made multiple false allegations against Hindus, claiming that many of the Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan are agents for India’s intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Many of the higher class Hindu citizens are able to exempt themselves from the rampant stereotyping and verbal abuse that inevitably follows, but many are not so fortunate. Lower class Hindu and Sikh citizens are subject to much of the racism and false judgement placed upon them by misinformed Pakistanis.
Switching our focus back to the younger generation, there are even scarier and immoral things going on. Children are being attacked – not just bullied, which is obviously bad enough, but literally assaulted – by their peers based off of their religion or ethnicity. Even more horrifying, Pakistan has been trying to eliminate minority groups by abducting and mistreating Hindu girls and then forcing them to convert to Islam. They then marry them off, and slowly “cleansing” minorities. The question remains of, well, why won’t they just convert back? To prevent this from happening, there is a federal law stating that no one is allowed to convert out of Islam. The obvious injustice is clear to all, so another question remains; why can’t anyone speak out against this? The answer remains the same – the law. The government has issued death threats for speaking out against this behavior. Imagine being a parent living like this, taking harsh penalties and severe consequences simply for wanting your child back. The situation would be, and is for many, traumatizing. Of course, people have filed lawsuits, but not much change has actually occurred. First off, the courts may tend to throw a blind eye to these types of situations due to corruption. Even in the cases that do make it, the abducted girls aren’t permitted to stay in women’s shelters, but instead are forced to stay with their forced husbands. They are then silenced, threatened and maybe even physically harmed to get them to deny all claims in court, claiming that they did it with their own free will.
However, things have begun to change for the better. A group called the Sindhu Minorities Protection has begun to work towards getting minorities the help they need in order to get their families back together and protect minorities in Pakistan.
In May, 2019, a Hindu Veterinary doctor practicing in Pakistan was accused of blasphemy for apparently providing medicines wrapped in text pages of the Qur’an, from a local schoolbook. Later that month, many riots erupted, and the office of that veterinarian and other neighboring markets owned by Hindus were burned to the ground. In Pakistan, anyone accused of blasphemy can be sentenced to death. There were also reports that protesters had looted some shops nearby. The person accused of such things had said that they did not know that those pages were those of the Qur’an. However, it had been found that many minority community members were targeted under the blasphemy law.
In conclusion, the situation of Hindu Rights in Pakistan is quite deplorable, as Hindus and Sikhs are not treated like valuable citizens and human beings. But now is the time. In the 21st century, in the year 2020. We have shown that we are capable of so much, and it is the time that the silence is broken. All humans, regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, are EQUALS.
Abi-Habib, Maria. “Hard Times Have Pakistani Hindus Looking to India, Where Some Find Only Disappointment.” Https://Www.Nytimes.Com/#publisher, 6 Oct. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/10/05/world/asia/pakistan-hindu-india-modi.html
Author, Guest. “Denying Hindus Food Aid in a Pandemic Emblematic of Pakistan’s Minority Rights Problem.” Hindu American Foundation, 4 May 2020, www.hinduamerican.org/blog/denying-hindus-food-aid-pakistan-minority-rights-problem
BBC News. “Pakistan Hindu Vet Charged with Blasphemy.” BBC News, 28 May 2019, www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48438333#:%7E:text=A%20Hindu%20veterinary%20doctor%20in,Hindu%2Downed%20shops%20were%20looted
Kalra, Samir. “Quietly Cleansing Pakistan’s Minorities, One Girl at a Time.” Hindu American Foundation, 22 Jan. 2020, www.hinduamerican.org/blog/quietly-cleansing-pakistans-minorities-one-girl-at-a-time
Pti. “Violence in Pakistan after Hindu Veterinary Doctor Accused of Blasphemy.” The Economic Times, 29 May 2019,
“World Report 2020: Rights Trends in Pakistan.” Human Rights Watch, 16 Jan. 2020, www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/pakistan