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Home > fundamentalism / shrinking secular space > South Asia: Pakistan’s Minorities, Hindus, Sikhs & Christians react to (...)

South Asia: Pakistan’s Minorities, Hindus, Sikhs & Christians react to India’s CAA/CAB

Thursday 19 December 2019, by siawi3


South Asia
Pakistan’s Minorities, Hindus, Sikhs & Christians react to India’s CAA/CAB


18 Dec 2019

Pakistani Hindus: A woman in Guwahati walks past a graffiti opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill on December 9, 2019 Image Courtesy: PTI

While three Hindu lawmakers in Pakistan have denounced the Modi regime’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, stating clearly that the Indian government should not “drag” the Hindu minorities across the border into the controversy for its political advantage, the Christian community seemed also clear about their position on CAB/CAA.

Speaking to the Indian media, Lal Chand Malhi, member of national assembly from Pakistan’s serving party Tehreek-e-Insaf, said: "It is unfortunate to see how blatantly India’s home minister

Amit Shah is projecting CAB/CAA as the only lifeline for minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan We are a proud minority in Pakistan contributing to every other community to make our country better in terms of everything.“Malhi is one of the minority leaders in Pakistan who have been vocal against evils like forced conversions. To a query on recent cases of atrocities on Hindus in Pakistan, he said:”Every country has a set of problems. Muslims in India, for instance, have been facing human rights issues in Kashmir and other places. Similarly, some fringe elements in Pakistan have issues with Hindus. In the age of communication, nothing can be hidden from the public view. The human rights violations by any country cannot be kept hidden whether it is happening in Pakistan, India or the US.“Sachanand Lakhwani, member of the provincial assembly of Sindh, also said that CAB/CAA is no longer India’s internal matter.”Since they (Indian government) have involved the minorities of three countries, they have involved three sovereign republics. The least I can say is that by dragging Pakistan’s Hindus into the issue, India has interfered in our internal matters," he said.

Lakhwani, who passed out from Ajmer’s Mayo College, questioned Shah’s claim that Hindu population has declined drastically in Pakistan over the years. “The claim being made is that the Hindu population of Pakistan has declined from 20 odd per cent in the 1950 census to 2 per cent at present. The fact is that of the 20 per cent, as many as 17.5 per cent had lived in former east Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and only 2.5 per cent lived in west Pakistan (present day Pakistan). The population percentage of Hindus is still around the same,” he said.

Reacting as sharply on these developments in India, a third lawmaker, Kesoo Mal Kheeal Das, MNA (MP) from Jamshroo in Sind, termed the Bill as distasteful and a wrong precedent for minority groups in every country. “Hindus living in Pakistan trace their genealogy to the oldest civilisation of Mohenjo-daro. This land is a part of our collective history and has been ours for the last 5,000 years. No Hindu would like to leave Pakistan as the situation here is improving,” said Das, who is the MNA from PML-N.

Meanwhile, Peter Jacob, a prominent member of Christian community and a vocal voice for minority rights in Pakistan criticized CAB, calling it a deliberate religious discrimination.“This bill is such a detrimental act that there will be psychological repercussions, there will be political repercussions and of course the relationships between the two countries will be affected”, he said.

“To say the least, I am devastated by the actions that the government of India has taken. It will not only have affects in India but also in Pakistan because it is the biggest disservice to the Hindu community in Pakistan. They would like to be seen as a patriotic Pakistanis. But this act of India will somehow create a friction on the basis of religion. Whereas, it is detrimental to the policies, harmony and social cohesion in India in the outset”, he added.

Punjab’s Provincial Minister for Minority Rights Ejaz Alam Augustine had also criticised CAB/CAA and called the amendment, India’s agenda detrimental against Muslim minorities.

“India is trying to show that it wants to give rights to minorities, but the fact is that it is committing serious human rights violations against 80 lac Kashmiris. India’s real face stands exposed in front of the world today”, said Augustine.

“It is also a fact that the highest number of churches burnt and priests killed in the world has been in India. And even after doing all these brutalities, if India thinks that by introducing this amendment bill, its minorities are going to be happy, then I would say that India is badly mistaken”, he added.

Pakistan has internationally raised serious concerns over the controversial bill, stating that it is a dangerous expose of the ideology behind Narendra Modi’s supreme Hindutvamind-set.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said “India is working towards making a Muslim majority state into minority in Jammu and Kashmir (JK) by bringing in Hindu people and settling them in the valley”.