Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2011, Executive Summary

Taken from the Executive Summary of Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2011. To read the full summary online click here.

Religious minority issues are clearly, as the majority of us know, affecting ALL non-muslim communities. Here's a portion of the summary as it pertains to the Hindu minority of Pakistan --


Islamic Republic of Pakistan

In 1947, Hindus were approximately 25% of the population of Pakistan. Now, Hindus constitute less than 1.6% of the population. Pakistan officially and routinely discriminates against non-Muslims through a variety of discriminatory laws, such as blasphemy laws.
  • On March 24, 2005, Pakistan restored the discriminatory practice of mandating the inclusion of religious identity of individuals in all new passports.
  • School textbooks continue to promote Islam and hatred and intolerance towards non-Muslims, including Hindus.
  • Islamists continue to extend their influence throughout the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and other parts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa Province, where they are increasingly enforcing Islamic law.
  • Recurring reports point to an alarming trend of Hindu girls being kidnapped, raped, held in madrassas (Islamic seminaries), and forcibly converted to Islam.
  • Poor Hindus continue to be subjected to inhumane conditions through the bonded labor system.
HAF Recommendations
  1. The Government of Pakistan must take immediate steps for the protection of Hindus from rape, kidnapping, and forced conversions
  2. Religious minorities must be allowed to independently manage their own religious institutions free from government interference and representatives from the Hindu and Sikh communities should be given full control over the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).
  3. Pakistan should reform its education system in order to remove inaccuracies about other religions and promote tolerance and pluralism.
  4. The United States should demand that Pakistan stop all support and financing of Islamic militant groups operating in the subcontinent. The United States must place strict conditions on any financial assistance to Pakistan and demand accountability for human rights violations.
  5. Pakistan should establish a truly independent Human Rights Commission and a National Minorities Commission to monitor the human rights condition and to enable minorities to enjoy the rights provided to the majority population.

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