Rajat Sharma

Anti-CAA protesters must listen to the woes of Pakistani Hindus and Sikhs

akb0612India TV on Monday night in its ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ show telecast the story of a Pakistani Hindu girl, who narrated the ordeals of Hindu community in Pakistan. The girl, a Chartered Accountancy student, was sent by her parents on pilgrimage visa along with other Hindus in the first week of February. All the Pakistani Hindus who have crossed over to India are now unwilling to return as they fear persecution on grounds of religion.

The girl narrated how Hindus are being forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan, their daughters are abducted and forcibly married to Muslim men, and how they live as second class citizens in Pakistan. The Hindus, who have fled and are seeking asylum in India, are being taken care of by Sikh humanitarian groups and are being fed in the langars of gurudwaras.

Hindus living in Pakistan do not have the freedom to raise their voice against persecution that occurs almost on a daily basis at all levels. None of the Pakistani leaders care to listen to their woes lest they run foul of their own community. It is my fervent appeal to the government to give proper assistance and asylum to all the Hindus who have fled Pakistan because of religious persecution. They must be given Indian citizenship and must be conferred all the rights that are given to Indians.

These persecuted Hindus deserve help from India in pursuance of the solemn promise given by Mahatma Gandhi at the time of Indepence that India must give shelter to all Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities facing persecution in Pakistan.

I want to take this opportunity to tell all those who are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act to cast aside their worries for a minute, and think about the atrocities that are being faced by Hindus in Pakistan. If their demand for revoking the CAA is accepted, what will happen to these old men, women and children? Will it be humane to send them all back to Pakistan to face persecution? The Citizenship Amendment Act was brought precisely for helping these persecuted minorities who live in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, all three Islamic countries, where they practically live as second-class citizens.

It is time for those sitting on dharna at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh to do a serious rethink. The government has, time and again, assured that the CAA has not been brought to deprive any bonafide Indian of his or her citizenship. Let the CAA open up the path for rendering help to the persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians who want to leave Pakistan.

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