|May 14, 2013
“Hindus were not only restricted from openly practicing their religion in his neighborhood, but were also attacked for publicly celebrating their festivals.” – HAF’s Victims of History Report on Hindus of Pakistan
To believe that one’s faith cannot be openly practiced is unthinkable. However, for many Pakistani Hindus, the slightest acknowledgement of their Hindu faith can endanger their lives.
“There is fear 24 hours a day…Hindus see themselves as helpless,” Chetan Ram states. Young girls are ripped from the arms of their mothers, married off to strangers, and forcibly converted to Islam; never to see their families again.
Families live in utter poverty. Even if they are employed; they are at the mercy of the jagirdars, or landlords. The Muslim jagirdars pay Hindu workers at their own accord, leaving many of the already impoverished Hindus unpaid.
In order to escape the dire fate they face in Pakistan, many flee to India for safety.
In January of 2013, a team from the Hindu American Foundation, traveled to Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Over five days, the team visited three Pakistani Hindu refugee camps, providing medical aid to over 400 refugees. During their time there, the team listened to one heartbreaking story after another. Here is just one story:
Amar Lal migrated to India in April 2009 from Bahawalpur after his unmarried sister-in-law was kidnapped and the family never heard from her again. He also noted that he knew of four to five additional Hindu girls that had been kidnapped in Bahawalpur. – HAF’s Victims of History Report
Despite fleeing from religious persecution, these individuals are still not formally recognized as refugees by the Indian Government or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Watch their harrowing story by clicking here.
For more in depth coverage of the situation, read the full report written by HAF’s Senior Human Rights Fellow, Samir Kalra, Esq.: “Victims of History: The Untold Story of Pakistani Hindu Refugees in India”. HAF premiered the documentary and presented the report findings at a Congressional Hearing held on April 25, 2013, in Washington D.C.
How can you help?
1. Educate yourself by watching the documentary.
2. Create awareness by sharing the documentary and report with friends and family
3. Give a voice to these refugees by donating to HAF today.
The Hindu American Foundation Team.
Short Documentary: The Untold Story of Pakistani Hindu Refugees in India