Zardari to Sindh authorities: Allay grievances of Hindus

Zardari took note of reports of a "sense of insecurity" among Hindu families and directed authorities to allay the minority community`s grievances.

Last Updated: Aug 10, 2012, 21:53 PM IST

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday took serious note of reports of a "sense of insecurity" among Hindu families in Pakistan`s Sindh province and directed authorities to allay the minority community`s grievances.

The President asked the authorities in Sindh to assess the situation and to submit a report to him Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

The President also constituted a three-member committee of parliamentarians to visit different parts of Sindh to express solidarity with Hindus on behalf of himself and the government and to reassure them about their security and well-being, Babar said.

The committee comprises Hari Ram, Lal Chand and federal minister Moula Bakhsh Chandio.

Zardari acted after media reports said a group of 250 Pakistani Hindus travelling to India for a pilgrimage did not intend to return to the country.

Immigration authorities at the Wagah land border detained the Hindus for almost seven hours before allowing them to cross the border.

The kidnapping of a teenage Hindu girl, Manisha Kumari, from Jacobabad city of Sindh on August 7 has sparked widespread concern in the minority community amidst reports of the exodus of some 100 Hindu families from the region.

Reports said some of the families had even sold their properties in Jacobabad before setting off for India.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Hindus possessing valid travelling documents and Indian visas were allowed to cross via Wagah today.

Chairing a meeting in Islamabad to review the reports of the migration of Hindus from Jacobabad, Malik said a group representing all Hindu citizens had assured the government that the Hindu families were going to India to visit religious sites.

Malik said the group had informed him that the Hindus would come back and would not apply for political asylum in India.

He said the government will provide complete security to minorities and "agents involved in providing political asylum to minorities would be taken to task as per the law of the land".

He sought a report on the issue from the chief of the Federal Investigation Agency at the earliest and said Hindu families "who are proceeding to India are our guests and should be facilitated".

Yesterday, Malik had described the reported exodus of the Hindus as a conspiracy against Pakistan and questioned the Indian High Commission`s move to grant visas to the Hindus.