“Interesting fact: all Hindu girls that are converted their age ranges from 20 to 28 years, why the boys and old people not converting)? (To Islam – GHRD note). This shows only those girls are targeted who are young and beautiful” - Mr. Saleem Khursheed Khokar, Christian Member of the Provincial Sindh Assembly.
Recently, Hindus from Sindh have made the news, after 60 Hindu families from Sindh and Balochistan provinces, migrated to India because of the discrimination they faced in Pakistan (read about this here).
GHRD gained more insight into the situation recently when local Hindus from Sindh province discussed the daily discrimination they experience. Fear of repercussions meant that many were reluctant to share their stories and for this reason names and incriminating details have been removed.
The situation for Hindus living in Karachi and in Sindh province continues to deteriorate. Hindus face various forms of violence in the shape of individual assaults, kidnappings, forced conversions, lack of access to job opportunities and attacks and boycotts of local businesses run by Hindus.
Hindu teachers shared that Hindu students face social discrimination in the form of exclusion and prejudice. Other interviewees expressed concern about the prevalence of kidnapping, forced conversions and marriages, the increased migration of the Hindu community to India and land grabbing and disputes over land and businesses. Local Hindus acknowledged that migration to India is not the solution, that the responsibility is on the government of Pakistan to protect their population, including minority communities.
Saleem Khursheed Khokar, a Christian Member of the Provincial Assembly and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Minority Affairs, also shared his views on the situation of Hindus as a minority group in Sindh Province. He commented on the issue of forced conversions of Hindu women to Islam, raising concern about the age and sex of those converted to Islam, stating: “Why is this issue so prevalent among young Hindu girls? Why do boys and older people not convert?”
While the issue of forced conversion remains a topic of discussion, it is not spared of controversy. Politicians across Pakistan have received threats for their strong stance against forced conversions. Mr. Khokar himself has raised this issue in the Sindh Assembly and consequently received threats, namely after expressing his opinion in the Rinkle Kumari Supreme Court case.