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Mind your own religion


I found it an interesting read and thought it should be shared with my readers. The figure of 108,000 is huge and impressive when it is meant the number of those who have converted to Islam (by choice?) since 1989 by a man who was once a Hindu. In the town of Matli of Badin district, Sindh, Deen Mohammad Shaikh, a 70-year-old, wishes to see the entire world becoming Muslim.

Frankly, he did not inspire me as his wish hurts my ‘perfect world’ philosophy which shapes a way to the coexistence of all human beings with different faiths, creeds, ideologies, and cultures. I have not intended to comment on this for the sake of just criticism, but the disappointment has provoked me to share those resentful feelings.  The mindset of “Muslims winning, ruling the world” has a deep meaningful connection to Muslims psychological euphoria of being “superior.” The superiority which they have inherited from their glorious history which has created winners and conquerors is a push that keeps the fire burning.

I would wait till the day when a Hindu or, for that matter, a Christian decides to convert Muslims and Muslims all over the world will go gaga, protesting, burning properties, and killing people from other religions. Hold on, how easily the great Pakistani Muslims have chosen to forget the hard work they have put in harassing, intimidating and killing Ahmaids, Christians, Hindus and many more?

The only Muslim and Pakistani Nobel laureate was Abdus Salam who won it for his work on the electroweak unification of the electromagnetic and weak forces in 1979. No one else since then has reached to that level of excellence, and brought fame to this country, but he, too, suffered from the hate and negligence from this ‘religion stricken country’. His crime was that he was a proud Ahmadi. We bask in the glory of Muhammad Bin Qasim and Mehmood Ghaznavi, but ignore the existing pride out of our extreme bias, hatred and prejudice for those whose beliefs are different. Muhammad Bin Qasim and Mehmood Ghaznavi are past and I am not fully convinced if they are my heroes, but Abdus Salam certainly is. This country needs more of such people and their religion is not my business.

I stop here, enjoy the read….

 MATLI: Such are Deen Mohammad Shaikh’s powers of persuasion that he has converted 108,000 people to Islam since 1989, the year he left his birth religion Hinduism behind.

His multi-coloured business card describes the Matli dweller as the president of the Jamia Masjid Allah Wali and Madrassa Aisha Taleem-ul Quran – an institute for conversions to Islam.

The reedy 70-year-old brandishes an embellished cane. A red-and-white keffeiyah perched on his shoulder offers people a hint to his theological leanings.

As he speaks to The Express Tribune, his arm slices an invisible arc through the air. He is gesturing to a vast expanse of nine acres of donated land where converts are invited to pitch a tent and stay. “My heartfelt wish is that the entire world becomes Muslim,” comes his response, when asked about the en masse conversions. His piety is matched only by its ambition.

But contrary to the grandiose proclamation, this preacher isn’t a repository of rehearsed sound bites. It is only after he settles down on a charpoy that he deigns to embark on the journey of a Hindu named Jhangli who became an expert in evangelism.

“I always loved Islam,” he begins. “I read the Holy Quran and realised that 360 gods were not of any use to me.”

At first he had to study the Holy Quran in secret. There was the risk of being misunderstood if a Muslim caught him with the holy book. He started fasting and in fact he would begin a day before Ramazan started.

Shaikh’s mother grew alarmed at her son’s forays into another faith. She thought that if she married him off, he would not ‘leave’. Thus, he was barely 15 when his wedding took place, followed by a quick overtaking by nature – four girls and eight boys.

But despite this, he was drawn back to his curiosity and managed to find a teacher, Sain Mohammad Jagsi, who instructed him in the Holy Quran and Hadiths or sayings of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).

Fortunately, Shaikh’s uncle was of the same mind and the two men agreed that they would give each other the strength. Shaikh held off until his daughter was married to a Hindu as planned, since he had already “given his word”. Then there was no turning back.

After his conversion, Deen Mohammad Shaikh made it his mission to woo others. He began in his own backyard, preaching to family, before venturing beyond this comfort zone. Encounters with the rich and powerful helped pave the way. Retired Pakistan Army general Sikandar Hayat, who owns a sugar mill in Matli, offered Shaikh money, which he turned down. Instead, he urged Hayat to give jobs to some of the new converts. Hayat and his daughter proved extremely helpful in providing assistance.

Now, Shaikh says, his fame has spread and people come to him from as far as Balochistan, members of all religions and sects, who would like to convert. A small mosque has sprung up in his residential compound along with a number of rooms where children – mostly girls – are taught how to say their prayers and recite the Holy Quran.

One of the teachers is 14-year-old Sakina, who is just 15 days into the job. “Only a few students are difficult to teach,” she says while commenting on their ability to recite a text in an unknown language.

Shaikh is aware of the difficulties converts face while taking on what appear to be the initially daunting rigours of a brand new system. He makes life easy for the first 40 days. “They only have to pray farz!” he says while referring to the mandatory parts. This relaxed schedule ensures that they can ‘confirm their faith’. He understands that if he demanded they start out with praying five times a day to offer even the optional and ‘bonus’ parts, “They would run away!” as he puts it with a look of mock horror on his face.

Other than this, he is reluctant to actually explain how he influences the people. All he offers is a nugget of fire and brimstone: “I tell them that I was a Hindu too and that they would burn in Hell if they are not Muslim.”

More than saving a soul

There are other practical considerations that accompany conversions. In order to ‘save’ the converts from influential Hindus in other districts, Shaikh packs them off to Hub Chowk while the Kalima is still moist on their lips. “Their families would beat them up (for converting) otherwise,” he explains.

This trick of the ‘trade’ he learnt from personal experience. He alleges that he was kidnapped along with his daughter-in-law by influential Hindus who threatened him so that he would stop converting people. “They don’t want these poor Hindus to stand up to them when they become Muslims,” Shaikh maintains.

Despite 108,000 conversions, for which a record is kept, Shaikh still doesn’t feel his work is done. He wants everyone to be a Muslim and learn from his example. He also attends the Tablighi Jamaat’s annual congregation in Raiwind, although he doesn’t believe in sectarian divisions. “All groups are like brothers to me,” he declares.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd,  2012.

 

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Hindus, minorities

 

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Another Hindu trader, Ravi Kumar, abducted


Is there an end to bad news, I am afraid no. Another kidnapping took place in Quetta, Balochistan, on October 21. Ravi Kumar, a Hindu trader S/O Kalian Dass (Former President Hindu Panchiayat) was abducted from Truck Adda, Sirki Road, in Quetta at 9.30 am, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reported. His family told HRCP that Kumar was getting things loaded into trucks at Truck Adda, when unknown armed men came there in a Corolla car  and pushed him at gun point into the vehicle and fled away.

First Information Report (FIR) was lodged with Satellite Town Police Station, Quetta. so far, the family has not heard from his abductors. No demand has been made by them to help ascertain the reason behind his kidnapping. The record shows that Hindu traders have been kidnapped for ransom from Sindh and Balochistan in the past.

The organisations involved in the series of kidnappings clearly have a motive known to us by now. The ransom money goes straight into the promotion of their cause or help them buying weapons to fight a ‘holy war’. The powerless law enforcing agencies constantly work to minimise the chances of such organisation to harm them or their families leaving public at the mercy of God. In this case, too, no one will ever be arrested, or the money for ransom, (if and whenever asked) will be given to save Kumar’s life.

HRCP has requested to take following actions:

Please write to the authorities in Pakistan urging them:

  1. To take appropriate steps for the immediate recovery of Mr. Ravi Kumar
  2. To make sure that he is not harmed during captivity
  3. To take appropriate measures for the security of the other family members of Mr. Ravi Kumar
  4. To stop the kidnapping of Hindu traders

It would be appreciated if you send a copy of your letter to HRCP/Urgent Appeal (Zaman Khan)

Address:

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari

President of Pakistan

President’s Secretariat

Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 922 1422, 4768/ 920 1893 or 1835

Email: publicmail@president.gov.pk

Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani

Prime Minister
Prime Minister House
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel:             +92 51 920 6111      
E-mail:
secretary@cabinet. gov.pk

Federal Minister for Human Rights
Ministry of Human Rights
Old US Aid building
Ata Turk Avenue
G-5, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51-9204108
Email: sarfraz_yousuf@ yahoo.com

Dr. Faqir Hussain
Registrar
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9213452
E-mail: mail@supremecourt. gov.pk

Mr. Rehman Malik

Minister for Interior

R Block Pak Secretariat

Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92 51 9212026

Fax: +92 51 9202624

E-mail: ministry.inrior@ gmail.com or interior.complaintcell@gmail. com
Sardar Zulifqar Magsi
Governor of Balochistan

Governor House
Quetta, Balochistan

PAKISTAN

Phone : +92 81 9202171-77
Fax. : +92 81 9202178
Email:
governor.sectt@ balochistan.gov. pk

 

 

Nawab Aslam Raisani

Chief Minister of Balochistan

C. M. Secretariat

Quetta, Balochistan

Pakistan

Phone: +92 81 9202061

Fax: +92 81 9202280

Email. chiefminister@balochistan.gov.pk
Chief Secretary

 Government of Balochistan

Civil Secretariat,

Quetta, Balochistan
PAKISTAN

Phone:             +92 81 9201154      
Fax: +92 81 9201167
E-mail:
chiefsecy@balochistan. gov.pk

 

Provincial Police Officer

 Government of Balochistan

Civil Secretariat, Quetta, Balochistan
PAKISTAN

Phone:             +92 81 9201262      
Fax: +92 81 9201267
E-mail:
ppo@balochistan. gov.pk

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Hindus

 

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MCP condemns attack on a Sindhi journalist


LAHORE, 13 Oct: The Media Commission expressed shock at the harassment of Mahesh Kumar and attack on his car. Kumar, chief editor of Daily Sindh Hyderabad and a member of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) Hyderabad chapter, went to the press club at night where some unidentified people opened fire on his car. Later, he was threatened on phone of dire consequences.

Such harassment to an old friend of SAFMA, who belongs to a minority group, is highly condemnable, said I. A Rehman, president of MCP. The obvious rise in attacks on the journalist is a worrying sign and gives more strength to impunity. We call upon Karachi Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to investigate this matter and reasons behind the harassment of journalists

On a positive note, the MCP welcomes the unconditional release of Rehmatullah Dawar after 61-day captivity.

 

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A threat to Dalits’ existence


Mahathma Gandhi said: “Untouchability is a crime against God and men”. He called untouchables by the name of ‘HARIJANS’ meaning Children of God and fought for their emancipation. In 1949, Govt. of India made it a criminal offense to practice untouchability. But it has not changed much in the lives of people who belong to the lower caste in Hindu society. Not that Gandhi’s ideology and struggle lacked passion and resilience, but the Hindus were more strong and committed to not let go of the material gains and pompousness the caste system gave them.

This mindset travels through the borders and affects Hindus in Pakistan to a degree where it is a threat to their existence and identity. Dalit representatives in a meeting of the Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network discussed the monopoly of upper caste Hindus when it comes to reserved seats in the assembly. The system originated in India has been unconsciously accepted and followed by people of this country and the political parties give an opportunity to upper caste Hindus to step into politics.

The concerns shared by the Scheduled Caste Rights Movement Pakistan, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network, and the Upgrade Minorities for Integrated Development cannot be ignored, especially when the population of the scheduled castes is much higher than that of the upper caste Hindus.

The meeting has highlighted another major issue that Dalit families face when they get themselves registered under the category of Hindus even when there is a separate category for the scheduled caste. The fear of Dalit representatives is genuine that this trend will further decrease the number of Dalits here in Pakistan which is around 2 million today. Their demand for a share in employment, scholarships, national resources, development schemes and parliament to be raised has a reason which is a threat to their existence. The whole effort is based on an initiative to secure the coming generation which will be proud Dalits, rather not someone who have been isolated since centuries because of people who have a strong social acceptance.

Pakistanis have unluckily never understood the ideology behind the creation of this country and that reflects in the treatment given to people like Dalits who have to fight against the same caste system India has been following blindly. It shows that even this country, which fought against India in 1947 as a minority, has nothing to offer to Hindus who live here. Their all struggle and ideology died soon after they have achieved an independent country–Pakistan.

To understand Dalits’ situation, Pakistanis should put themselves in their shoes to imagine what would have happened if this minority did not succeed in 1947. An equal opportunity to Hindus regardless of their caste is the route Pakistanis should take in order to stay committed to their base in Islam, which is equality.

Express Tribune

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Hindus

 

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The Future of Hindus in Pakistan is Bleak: India Today


The resignation of MLA Ram Singh Sodha, 67, from Pakistan’s Sindh provincial Assembly last year, and migration with his family to Kutch had created waves both in India and Pakistan. His move was seen as a signal of the increasing persecution of Hindus by radical Islamists in Pakistan. Sodha, a lawyer, spoke to India Today’s Senior Editor Uday Mahurkar in Nakhatrana in Kutch but he was cautious, as many of his relatives are still in Pakistan. Excerpts:

Q. How do you see the situation in Pakistan today?

A. Pakistan still has a large number of moderate Muslims willing to live cordially with Hindus but they have been overwhelmed by the fear of the bombs and guns of militant Wahhabis who are ready to die while killing their religious rivals. The situation is turning grave though things are better in lower Sindh where the local Sindhi Muslims follow Sufism and take care the Hindus.

Q. What was the immediate provocation for you to flee Pakistan?

A. Militant Wahhabism has almost entered upper Sindh, travelling down from Punjab. Unless a miracle happens, it’s a matter of time before it percolates to lower Sindh too. I migrated as a long-term self-preservation measure. Plus, we Sodhas of lower Sindh have always married in the Jadeja Rajput clan in Kutch. So we have historical ties on this side. Otherwise there was no immediate provocation for me to leave Pakistan.

Q. Do you fear retaliation? Is that why you are hiding the real truth?

A. Not at all. I will speak only the truth. You can’t ignore the fact that militant Muslims are targeting moderate Muslims with more violence.

Q. What is the difference between Jinnah’s Pakistan and today’s Pakistan?

A. In Jinnah’s Pakistan, religious minorities were protected while in today’s Pakistan, even moderate Muslims who want to peacefully co-exist with people of other religions are insecure now. Jinnah’s word was betrayed immediately after his death but the real change came in the ’70s when General Zia-ul-Haq gave a long rope to radical Islamists taking advantage of the Afghan war. He also created separate electorates for Hindus thus virtually making them second-class citizens.

Q. What is that thing that amazes you the most in Pakistan?

A. The irony that the land which produced Frontier Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, should produce the most dreaded Islamic militants on the face of the earth.

Q. When was the first time that you felt insecure in Pakistan?

A. In 1986-87 when, in reaction to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in India, some temples were vandalised in Sindh province.

Q. What is the solution?

A. Both India and Pakistan should wage a joint war against the militants and I am of the firm opinion that the common people of both the countries want aman (peace) from the violence of the militants.

Q. What will be the fate of Hindus of Pakistan?

A. Apart from the worsening religious situation, the fate of Hindus also depends on the Indian Government. The government should be more liberal in its treatment. A Hindu Pakistani migrant gets citizenship only after seven years of stay in India, during which time he cannot work or even start a business. This minimum period should be brought down to three. As for Hindus who choose to stay in Pakistan, their future appears bleak.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Hindus

 

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A human rights defender booked on murder charges: Send your letters


Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a human rights defender, who belongs to the Kohli group, a scheduled caste Hindu, was booked in a murder case whereas on the day of murder of a land grabber he was 500 kilometers away. He was attending a daylong conference of the civil society on the issue of Eighteenth amendment in the constitution and provincial autonomy. In 2010 he was abducted by the land grabbers who were also involved allegedly in the rape of a 17 years old Dalit girl. He was severely beaten during his captivity and was intimidated for raising his voice for the rights of the Dalits who have been bonded labourers for decades.

The police and a provincial minister are providing protection to the perpetrators. The provincial minister is allegedly involved in grabbing the land where the precious China Clay was found.

CASE NARRATIVE:

On May 20, 6:00 am, a group of land grabbers attacked a village of Vishnoo Kolhi, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province and opened firing directly at the villagers to vacate their houses, seriously injuring four persons; Mr. Eshwar, Mr. Mohan, Mr. Hari, and Mr. Kombho who received bullet wounds. After heavy firing the villagers came out to defend the women and children and captured a few accused from whom they confiscated their guns which they later handed over to the police. The attackers names are Salah Shoro, Luqman Shoro, Mataro Shoro, Shafique Shoro, Rahib Shoro, Ranjho Shoro, Qadir Shoro Akbar Shoro, came to rescue his partners and in such circumstance one attacker, Saleh Shoro, was injured. He was taken away by the attackers and they escaped. He later died.

Instead of filing the cases of attacking villagers with deadly weapons and injuring villagers, police filed the case of murder against those persons who were residing 500 kilometers away from the place of the incident. Mr. Veerji Kolhi was among the persons who were booked on murder charges. Veerji is a prominent human rights defender and works with ASHAA and Mehargarh organizations, particularly on the issue of bonded labour. He has obtained the release of many women, children and men from the feudal lords of the district where there is a sizeable number from Kolhi community reside.

The other persons who were booked on charges of murder are Mr. Naboo Kohli, father of a 17 year old Dalit, who was raped by four persons who were released on bail before arrest by the session court, Mithi, though being a heinous case the bail before arrest cannot be granted without a proper investigation. Please see the urgent appeal Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-027-2010. Mr. Lakhan Kohli, the eye witness of the rape of the girl, Mr. Damro Kolhi, the uncle of Veerji, were also booked in the murder case.

Veerji was then abducted by the land grabbers in August 2010 and kept for several days and was severely tortured. He was told by the abductors not to pursue the case of rape of 17 years old Kastoori, a Dalit girl, and disassociate himself from the movement against the land grabbing. In the case of a young Hindu abducted from the police station by a religious mob (Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-097-2011) Veerji was among the activists who provided shelter to him when young Hindu ran away from the custody of abductor after nine months of captivity by the Muslim leaders of the Madina Masjid, Mirpurkhas, Sindh. Veerji used to be a bonded labourer, indentured with his family to a landlord, who design debts that can never be repaid and hold people hostage for labour in lieu of payment. He escaped as a teenager and found the resources to free his family. Since then, he has worked tirelessly for the cause of bonded labourers. From Nagarparkar, one of the poorest and most deprived districts of Pakistan in Thar Desert, he is a low caste Hindu, but from the towering caste of those who gives hope.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The land of nearby Nagarparkar area has been the property of Kolhi community for centuries. Recently some tribes started digging the soil of Kolhi community to transport precious clay to urban areas. The local Kolhi community observed several processions and demonstrations for this injustice. But the Shoro and Khoso tribe people supported by influential started threating Kolhis and started occupying lands of Kolhis. Same threats received to Vishnoo Kolhi of Village Bandhi some 12 kilometers away from Nagarparkar to leave the village otherwise they will kill him and all the villagers. Durga Mata temple is one of the two temples where the Hindus always go and pay their respects on this day, making it a significant part of their religion. According to him, around 200,000 pilgrims flock to the temple for the festival. Although the digging stopped while the mela continued, the pilgrims were dismayed at the project.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write the letters to the authorities about the false case of murder against a human rights defender and the father and other relatives of a rape victim who were residing 500 kilometers far from the incident of murder. Please urge the authorities to with draw the case of murder against them and take stern action against the local police who acted on the powerful land grabbers for filing the false cases against the innocent persons. Please also urge them initiate the inquiry into the land grabbing of Hindu Dalit population who are residing there since centuries.

The AHRC writes a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders calling for her intervention into this matter.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

PAKISTAN: A human rights defender was booked on murder charges for raising the cases of scheduled caste Hindus

Name of victims:
1.Mr. Veerji Kolhi,
Coordinator Mehergarh, house number, 11/150 Street 1 Abdullah City Qasimabad,
Hyderabad, Sindh
2. Mr. Naboo Kohli
3. Mr. Lakhan Kohli
4. Damro Kolhi,
All are the resident of Abdullah City Qasimabad, Hyderabad, Sindh
5. Mr. Eshwar,
6. Mr. Mohan,
7. Mr. Hari,
8. Mr. Kombho
All are resident of Vishnoo Kolhi goth, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province,

Names of alleged perpetrators:
1.Saleh Shoro,
2. Luqman Shoro,
3. Mataro Shoro,
4. Shafique Shoro,
5. Rahib Shoro,
6. Ranjho Shoro,
7. Qadir Shoro
8. Akbar Shoro
All are resident of Nagarparker, district Tharparker, Sindh province
Date of incident: May 20, 2010
Place of incident: Vishnoo Kolhi goth, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the registration of a false case of murder against a human rights defender and other persons who are from the Hindu scheduled cast of Dalit.

According to my information that on May 20, 6:00 am, a group of land grabbers attacked a village of Vishnoo Kolhi, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province and opened firing directly at the villagers to vacate to the houses, seriously injuring four persons; Mr. Eshwar, Mr. Mohan, Mr. Hari, and Mr. Kombho who received bullet wounds. After heavy firing the villagers came out to defend the women and children and captured a few accused and took away two guns which they later handed over to the police. The attackers names are Salah Shoro, Luqman Shoro, Mataro Shoro, Shafique Shoro, Rahib Shoro, Ranjho Shoro, Qadir Shoro Akbar Shoro, came to rescue his partners and in such circumstance one attacker, Saleh Shoro, was injured and was taken away by the attackers and they escaped but died later.

It is shocking for me that instead of filing the cases of attacking villagers with deadly weapons and injuring villagers, police filed the case of murder against those persons who were residing 500 kilometers away from the place of incident. Mr. Veerji Kolhi was among the persons who were booked on Murder charges. Veerji is a prominent human rights defender and work with ASHAA and Mehargarh organizations and working on the issue of bonded labour and got released many women, children and men from the feudal lords of the district where the a sizeable number from Kolhi community reside.

I am appalled to know that the other persons who were booked on charges of murder are Mr. Naboo Kohli, father of 17 years old Dalit, who was raped by four persons who were released on bail before arrest by session court, Mithi, though being a heinous case the bail before arrest cannot be granted without a proper investigation. Please see the urgent appeal Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-027-2010. Mr. Lakhan Kohli, the eye witness of the rape of the girl, Mr. Damro Kolhi, the uncle of Veerji, were also booked in the murder case.

I am further informed that Veerji was then abducted by the land grabbers in August 2010 and kept for several days and was severely tortured. He was told by the abductors not to pursue the case of rape of 17 years old Kastoori, a Dalit girl, and disassociate himself from the movement against the land grabbing. In the case of a young Hindu abducted from the police station by a religious mob (Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-097-2011) Veerji was among the activists who provided shelter to him when young Hindu ran away from the custody of abductor after nine months of captivity by the Muslim leaders of the Madina Masjid, Mirpurkhas, Sindh. Veerji used to be a bonded labourer, indentured with his family to a landlord, who design debts that can never be repaid and hold people hostage for labour in lieu of payment. He escaped as a teenager and found the resources to free his family. Since then, he has worked tirelessly for the cause of bonded labourers. From Nagarparkar, one of the poorest and most deprived districts of Pakistan in Thar Desert, he is a low caste Hindu, but from the towering caste of those who gives hope.

I urge you to take the stern action against the Nagarparker police, Tharparker police station, Sindh province, for acting on behalf of the land grabbers and filing false case of murder against a human rights defenders and others who are already victim of the powerful people of the area in the case of a rape of a Dalit girl in 2010.

Please also withdraw the false case of murder and initiate inquiry in to the case of land grabbing in the Nagarparker where the scheduled caste Hindus are living since centuries and they are illegally displaced by force for excavating the precious China clay.

I therefore, urge you to take immediate and proper steps against the perpetrators.

Yours sincerely,

—————-
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
President’s Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92 51 9204801/9214171
Fax: +92 51 9207458
Email: publicmail@president.gov.pk

2. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9221596
E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk

3. Syed Qaim Ali Shah
Chief Minister
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 920 2000
E-mail: pppsindh@yahoo.com

4. Federal Minister for Human Rights
Ministry of Human Rights
Old US Aid building
Ata Turk Avenue
G-5, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +9251-9204108
Email: sarfaraz_yousuf@yahoo.com

5. Mr. Muhammad Ayaz Soomro
Minister for Law, Parliamantry Affairs & Criminal Prosecution Service
Sindh Assembly Building,
Court road, Karachi, Sindh province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9211982
E-mail: secy.law@sindh.gov.pk

6. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
High Court Building
Saddar, Karachi
Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9213220
E-mail: info@sindhhighcourt.gov.pk

7. Ms. Nadia Gabol
Minister for Human Rights
Government of Sindh,
Pakistan secretariat, Barrack 92,
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9207044
Tel: +92 21 9207043
E-mail: lukshmil@yahoo.com

8. Dr. Faqir Hussain
Registrar
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9213452
E-mail: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk

9. Inspector General of Police
Police Head office, I. I. Chundrigar road
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9212051
E-mail: ppo.sindh@sindhpolice.gov.pk

Thank you.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Hindus, Petitions

 

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Is this kidnapping for ransom?


The recent kidnapping of a Hindu spiritual leader, Lakki Chand Garji, who happens to be the ‘maharaja’ of the Kali Mata Mandir’  has shocked many. It was first solely read as an attempt to target the Hindus here in Pakistan, and for obvious reasons including the conditions under which they live in this country. Pakistan is not the best place for minorities to live and the strong wave of extremism has given this belief another boost. But considering Balochistan complex situation, I would rather like to keep other options in mind too, not just a simple attack on Hindus. Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, Chief Minister of Balochistan, has already pointed out that the kidnapping is for ransom and that is the option we cannot rule out.

Minorities could be an easy and strong target at the same time for ransom and especially when it is about the life of their spiritual leader. The kidnappers always get their message through easily when it is someone from minorities because of the concerns of minorities and human rights groups . The protests triggered by the kidnapping has attracted the CM attention who has directed the law enforcing agencies to ensure his safe release.

Kidnapping-for-ransom incidents have been on the rise in Balochistan except target killing. The kidnappers manage to whisk away in broad daylight and sometimes and eventually the families of victims  have to pay huge amounts to secure their release. The law enforcing agencies could not succeed in ensuring the release of those kidnapped in at least two cases that I have known. A renowned businessman Ahmed Ali Hazara was abducted from Gordath Singh Road in February 2009,  who was released after his family paid huge amount. Similarly, a senior advocate of Balochistan High Court Iftikharul Haq was abducted close to his house at Doctor Bano Road in March 2009, but despite a suo moto notice and protests by lawyers, his family ended up paying a handsome amount to his kidnappers. The police, unfortunately, could not be of any good in these cases.

If Lakki Chand Garji’s case, it may happen again…

Below is the story:

Islamabad, Dec 23 (IANS) A leading Hindu spiritual leader of Pakistan was kidnapped at gunpoint in Balochistan province while he was on his way to officiate a wedding.

Eightytwo-year-old Lakki Chand Garji, who is the `maharaja’ of the Kali Mata Mandir in Kalat town, is considered to be one of Pakistan’s most revered Hindu spiritual leaders. He was kidnapped Tuesday night, the Express Tribune reported Thursday.

As the news of his abduction spread, hundreds of Hindu community members blocked the key highway that links Karachi and Quetta, bringing traffic to a halt for several hours.

Hindus demanded that the government secure the immediate release of their spiritual leader. Garji along with five people was travelling from Kalat town to Khuzdar to attend a marriage ceremony.

The media report said that he was intercepted by armed men who kidnapped him. The people accompanying him were later released. ‘A vehicle was chasing us and intercepted us at a deserted place near Surab, some hundred kilometers away from Kalat,’ said Babo Lal, who was one of the five men released by kidnappers.

‘The kidnappers tied our hands from behind with rope and blind folded us, thus I do not know where they were heading,’ Lal was quoted as saying.

Lakki Chand Garji has been the ‘maharaja at Kali Mata Mandir for the past 60 years and he has command on several languages including Balochi, Hindi, Sindhi, Persian and Brahavi, his devotees said.

Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, Balochistan province chief minister, told the media that he believed it was an incident of kidnapping for ransom and did not have religious overtones. Raisani directed law enforcement agencies to secure the release of the Hindu community leader at the earliest.

He observed that kidnapping cases had risen in certain areas of the province. The protests by the Hindu community members took place in Khuzdar, Quetta, Kalat and Naushki. Hindu community elders said that that they are being targeted by criminals.

Community leaders Nand Lal, Raj Kumar and Chander Kumar said the government has failed to protect the life and property of the people, particularly those belonging to the minority community.

The Hindu Panchayat Quetta took out a rally from the Arya Samaj Mandir in Quetta and went through Jinnah Road, Masjid Road, Shahra-e-Iqbal and Mannan Chowk of the Baloch capital city.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2010 in Hindus

 

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