Global News - Redeem the Oppressed

Persistent Persecution Forced Hindus to Leave Pakistan.

In the wake of steadily growing religion based intolerance, discrimination and persecution approximately 800 Pakistani Hindus have left Pakistan seeking safe haven in India. An advocacy group Seemant Lok Sangathan (SLS), that advocates for the rights of Pakistani religious minorities has claimed that last year the said number of Hindus migrated from Pakistan to India.

However, these migrants have not been met with great success in acquiring Indian citizenship as many of them went home after finding no progress in their citizenship application. Their return is deemed as an embarrassment to India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Back in 2018, an online citizenship application process was initiated and in this regard, 16 collectors in seven states were made available to collect online applications from Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jain and Buddhists from three countries Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

At least there are still 25,000 Pakistani Hindus in India’s Rajhastan state alone who are awaiting citizenship. Some of these applicants have waited more than two decades now. In 2015, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs made amendment to the citizenship rules therefore legalizing the stay of foreign migrants from six communities. The condition being if they had entered India due to religion based persecution and on or before December 2014. Such cases were exempted from provisions of the Passport Act and the Foreigners Act as their passports had expired.

According to official reports, Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. In this regard, to official estimates, portray a sum of 7.5 Million Hindus as living in Pakistan. Majority of Hindus are nestled in Pakistan’s Sindh province. However, the Hindu community has been periodically  targeted and sporadic cases of abduction of Hindu girls, forced into marriages with Muslims, forced conversions,  rape of girls and even murder have been reported. These factors compel them to migrate to India.

By Farrukh Saif

Farrukh Saif is a Pakistani human rights activist based in Germany. He founded his own organization, the Farrukh Saif Foundation (FSF), in 2009 with the goal of supporting marginalized and oppressed minorities in Pakistan who are affected by religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, forced conversions, abductions, rape, and bonded slavery. The main focus of the FSF is on the liberation of bonded laborers, particularly those working in brick kilns in rural areas of Pakistan. In 2018, the FSF merged with the US-based Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved. Throughout his career, Farrukh has been a leading voice for the rights of minorities in Pakistan and has gained international attention for his campaigns against the misuse of blasphemy laws and the belief that asylum is not a crime. In 2014, he played a key role in the release of hundreds of asylum seekers from Thai jails and has worked with his legal team to save numerous victims of strict blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Farrukh has also been invited by the Hungarian government to discuss his work and the issues he addresses. In addition to his work with the FSF, Farrukh has also been involved in various other humanitarian efforts, including providing health care services to internally displaced persons in Khayber Pakhtoon Khawa in 2009 and assisting flood victims in Sindh and Punjab in 2010. He has worked to aid victimized minorities in Pakistan and has a strong track record of successfully advocating for their rights. Farrukh joined forces with Keith Davies in 2018 to co-found the Emergency Committee to Save The Persecuted and Enslaved, and since 2009, they have collectively successfully rescued more than 36000 individuals from slavery and persecution.