Pak Hindus not seeking asylum, claims leader of fresh batch



Attari: As a fresh batch of 100 more Hindus crossed over from Pakistan here on Saturday, the leader of the group on Saturday claimed that they were not seeking asylum in India.

With tension writ large on their faces, the group arrived in India, a day after about 115 Hindus walked across the frontier amid reports of exodus of the minority community from Sindh province following kidnapping of a Hindu girl there.

Group leader Rajesh dismissed claims that Pakistan authorities were forcing them to give an undertaking that they would not seek asylum from Indian Government and would return to Pakistan within a period of 33 days.

"It would be wrong to say that Hindus or Hindu families who have crossed over to India were no more willing to go back to Pakistan," Singh said, adding that they would surely return to Pakistan and Sindh province.

"The Hindus from Pakistan have come to India to pay obeisance in the Hindu historic temples located in Amritsar, Indore, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Delhi but not for asylum," he said, while dismissing as "rumours" reports of exodus of Hindus.

"In fact, none of the Pakistan-based Hindu families could afford to live in India while leaving their ancestral houses and set up behind in Pakistan," he said.

However, a member, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that before crossing over to India, each member of delegation was forced to give an undertaking to Pakistan authorities that they would not seek asylum from Indian Government.

Another member Bishan Das said that if Pakistan based Hindus get an opportunity for immigrating to India, they would never lose the chance.

"If Indian government throws open the doors for Pakistan based Hindus, they would flock to India," he said, adding that they felt life would be much easier here especially when they have to marry their children.

Gobind Mal, also a Pakistani Hindu, said that most of the Pakistan-based rich business families already have settlements in Mumbai and Dubai. "As far as middle class was concerned, they are still struggling hard to survive due to one reason or another."

Group member Aman alleged that Hindu girls were being targeted by fundamentalists who kidnap them and get them married after conversion.

Hindu pilgrim Jetha Nand, resident of Kot Ghulam, in Mirpur Khas district said that Pakistani government provided protection to Hindus but it was not adequate.

A young pilgrim from Balochistan, Krishan Chand, said he was not in a position to live in India since his parents were in Pakistan.

Anup Kumar, head of the group that arrived yesterday, had alleged that that Hindu families were not safe in Pakistan, since kidnapping of young Hindu girls and brides by fundamentalists at gunpoint had become a routine affair.

"There is no law and order in Sindh province and the government is watching the activities of fundamentalists as a mute spectator," he had alleged.

He did not rule out the possibility that majority of the members of the delegation would never like to go back to Pakistan in the prevailing circumstances.

PTI