Pakistani Hindus on pilgrimage say they don`t want

Last Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 21:49

Jodhpur: A group of 171 Pakistani Hindus which has arrived in Rajasthan on a pilgrimage said on Monday that come what may they do not want to go back to their country.

The common refrain among the members of the group that reached Jodhpur on the Thar Express train yesterday was though their travel documents mention pilgrimage as their reason for their visit here and are expected to go back they do not intend to return.

The 171 Pakistani Hindus, including 32 women and children, were residents of Sanghar and Hyderabad cities of Sindh province.

"We will not go back come what may and whatever be the living conditions here," said Chetan Das from Hyderabad, the leader of the group.

"This is for the future of our children. We have passed a major part of our lives there but the conditions are constantly turning hostile for us, leaving us with no alternative than to leave Pakistan," he said.

Singh Sodha, president of Seemant Lok Sangthan, an organisation fighting for the rehabilitation of Hindu migrants said the exodus of Hindus from Pakistan on account of alleged religious, financial and social persecution, is not a new phenomenon.

"But this largest ever migration after the fencing on the Indo-Pak border, is a testimony that the conditions for the Hindu families in Pakistan continue to be intolerable and humiliating," he said.

All the group members are from the Meghwal and Bheel community, who work as daily wagers in Pakistan.

"All of us are at the mercy of our masters or landlords, we work for", said Krishan, a youth. He has come with some of his family members, with remaining all set to come in the next few weeks.

"We neither have any social freedom nor any religious freedom. Those who are poor have to bear this persecution and those who are rich have to secure their safety by paying some amount, what they call hafta to run their business smoothly," said Rai Mal of Sangar district.

PTI



First Published: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 21:49

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