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Vandana Kaneria | HENB | Karachi | June 27, 2022:: Hinduism is the second largest religious affiliation in Pakistan after Islam. While hundreds of years ago Hinduism was the dominant faith in the region, Hindus account for 2.15% of Pakistan’s population or 4.5 million people according to available data in 2017 by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, although Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) had claimed that there are 8 million Hindus living in Pakistan at the same time period, making up 4% of the country’s population. This claim of PHC was never supported with any authentic proof.
Before the partition, according to the 1941 census, Hindus constituted 14% of the population in West Pakistan (now Pakistan) and 28% of the population in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). After Pakistan gained independence from the British Raj, 4.7 million of West Pakistan’s Hindus and Sikhs moved to India as refugees. And in the first census afterwards in 1951, Hindus made up 1.6% of the total population of West Pakistan (now Pakistan).
In 1956, the government of Pakistan declared 32 castes and tribes, the majority of them Hindus, to be scheduled castes, including Kohlis, Meghawars, and Bheels. The Pakistan Census separates the members of scheduled castes from Hindus and has assessed that they form 0.41% of the national population in 2017 census (up from 0.25% in 1998 census). However, the actual population of Scheduled Caste Hindus is expected to be much higher, as the Scheduled Caste Hindus categorise themselves as Hindus in the census rather than as Scheduled Castes.
The official number of Hindus living in Pakistan is about 4.5 million or approx. 2.15% as per 2017 census conducted by Pakistan government authority.
But, a recent data reveals the great downfall in the numbers of Hindus in Pakistan under severe repression upon Hindu minorities there.
Now, Pakistan has become a home to 22,10,566 people from the minority Hindu community, comprising only 1.18 per cent of the country’s total registered population of 18,68,90,601, according to a report by the Centre for Peace and Justice Pakistan.
The report, based on data collected from National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), says that minorities constituted less than five per cent of the total population of Pakistan, with Hindus being the largest minority community.
According to NADRA data till March, the total number of registered people stood at 18,68,90,601 of whom 18,25,92,000 are Muslims.
The report that collected data on the basis of minorities that have obtained Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) from NADRA confirmed 17 identities of different faiths and religions, including 1,400 atheists.
The registered Hindus figure 22,10,566, followed by Christians 18,73,348, Ahmedis 1,88,340, Sikhs 74,130, Bhais 14,537, and as many as 3,917 Parsis, said the report, based on three national population censuses held in Pakistan.
There are 11 other minorities in Pakistan, accounting less than 2,000, who have been issued CNICs by the NADRA.
The Buddhists are 1,787, Chinese 1,151, Shintoism followers are 628, Jews 628, African religions followers are 1,418, Kelasha religion followers 1,522, and about six followers of Jainism.
From Ahmadis to Christians to Hindus, minorities in Pakistan face consistent harassment, with less than two per cent Hindus — 95 per cent of them living in the southern province of Sindh.
Minorities, including Hindu population, in Pakistan are poor and have negligible representation in the legislative system of the country.
The majority of Pakistan’s Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with Muslim residents. They often complain of harassment by the Islamic extremists.
The clear downfall in the numbers of Hindus and other religious minorities in Pakistan obviously shows the perpetrating nature of Pakistan to eliminate non-Muslims from the soil of that Islamic country. Religious persecution, paramount poverty, forced conversion, targeted killings of Hindus, absolute discrimination and gross violation of Human Rights…. are the declining causes of marginal Hindus in Pakistan.
This write up is connected to Wikipedia and a PTI report.
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