18 April 2022
On the outskirts of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, India lies a make-shift housing settlement of Pakistani Hindu refugees.
They did not arrive here in 1947 when Bharat was partitioned. They fled Pakistan only recently.
When asked why they left Pakistan, the primary reason given by all of them was that they feared that their daughters would be abducted, raped, forcibly converted to Islam, and then married off to a Muslim man.
Their fears are not unfounded.
Time and again, reports surface of Hindu girls in Pakistan being kidnapped, raped, converted, and married in an Islamic ceremony. You can read some of those reports here.
Pooja Oadh , just 19, was murdered by Lashari Muslims of Rohri, Sindh, Pakistan.
Pitiful living conditions
Last month, AHA learnt about some 70 Pakistani Hindu refugees living at a camp at Mulsagar, Jaisalmer.
We spoke to a volunteer - Hari Om Sahoo. He told us that the living conditions of the refugees were pitiful. ‘There is not even a single toilet there,’ he said. ‘All of them, including women and children, have to cross a major highway just to use toilet facilities.’
Upon hearing of the plight of these refugees, members of the Australian Hindu Association immediately sent funds for the construction of toilets.
In this video, Sahoo reports on the progress in the construction of toilet facilities at the camp.
You can read more about the conditions in the refugee camps here: https://www.opindia.com/2021/10/200-hindu-migrant-families-pakistan-delhi-adarsh-nagar-wait-to-get-electricity-read-why/amp/
Hari Om Sahoo
Sahoo has been working since 2013 to assist such refugees in every way he can.
You can read more about Sahoo’s work here: https://trunicle.com/abducted-raped-oppressed-forced-to-convert-pakistani-hindus-got-a-saviour-in-hari-om-sahoo-in-india/?amp
Dwindling Pakistani Hindu population
Following the partition of Bharat in 1947, Hindus comprised about 14% of the population of Pakistan whilst Muslims comprised approximately 9% of the population of India.
Presently, while Muslims comprise approximately about 15% of India’s population, the Pakistani Hindu population has dwindled to approximately 1.6%.
What has caused this decline?
While no precise statistics are available, it is widely believed that the principal reasons for the decline are migration and forced conversion to Islam.
A 75-year exodus
The exodus of Hindus from Pakistan to India in 1947 was massive, bloody, and traumatic.
However, for those Hindus who stayed back in Pakistan, life has been grim. Discriminated against by Pakistani laws, forced to practice their faith in secret and living in constant fear of attacks on their daughters, their only hope is refuge in secular India.
You can read more about their stories here: https://swarajyamag.com/amp/story/ideas%2Fhate-on-islamabad-temple-shows-why-pakistani-hindu-refugees-fear-to-practice-their-faith-even-in-india
There have been regular waves of Pakistani Hindu refugees arriving in India over the last 75 years. This shows no signs of abating.
The biggest influx of refugees is from the Province of Sindh.
Before partition in 1947, Hindus comprised 23% of the population of Sindh. Today there are just 6.5% . It is from Sindh that the largest number of reports emanate of persecution of Hindus.
Adarsh Nagar Hindu Refugee Camp, Delhi
No help from State and Central Governments
While various politicians have been bending over backward to accommodate Rohingya refugees, there has been no material assistance for Pakistani Hindu refugees from current State and Central governments.
Unable to survive in India, a number of Pakistani Hindus have returned to Pakistan.
Pakistan Hindu Refugees Humanitarian Project
AHA will soon be launching its Pakistan Hindu Refugees Humanitarian Project.
If you would like to assist the AHA in this project in any way, please contact AHA secretary - Bharti Kundal via email at firstname.lastname@example.org