NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Saturday, May 29, 2010

SCRM demands for protection of Hindus’ rights, worship places in Pakistan

By Rajesh Kumar Pandit (PHP Islamabad)
Saturday,May 29,2010
ISLAMABAD : Scheduled Caste Rights Movement (SCRM) is organizing a policy forum here on Tuesday (today) to put forth their demands of parliamentary legislation ensuring legal protection of fundamental rights, particularly of Hindu marriage registration, land ownership, equal political participation, ending discrimination and protection of religious places and graveyards.

The event being organised by ActionAid will be attended by leading parliamentarians, policy makers, minority leaders of political parties, civil society activists and members of SCRM. Presence of Shahbaz Bhatti, federal minister for minorities, Yasmeen Rehman, MNA, Nafisa Shah, MNA, Ramesh Lal, MNA and Lal Chand, parliamentary secretary on minority affairs will mark the event with diversified discussions and debates on policy issues.

SCRM members from Rahimyar Khan and other parts of the country will come up with their recommendations for providing legal protection to basic rights of caste minority of Pakistan. They will narrate their personal and social tribulations in securing legal identity to basic rights.

Despite being a large religious minority in Pakistan, scheduled caste Hindus are unable to obtain National Identity Cards, in the absence of which their other rights are also violated. They face dual discrimination as a minority in a Muslim country and as “lower caste” among fellow Hindus. As shared by the Hindu communities, lack of NIC and marriage registration has resulted in many domestic, social and psychological problems for the Hindu families, especially affecting the women and resulting in their exploitation.

Since inception of Pakistan, the worst affected community has been Scheduled Caste Hindus who are discriminated in almost all spheres of life. In most parts of the country, local landlords and politicians have illegally occupied their religious seminaries, graveyards and land. For years Hindu women have been forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men while they were already married to a Hindu. Since there was no documentation to prove the earlier marriage, the woman’s husband or family were unable to take up the issue on legal grounds. Hindu married couples face numerous problems in travelling and lodging outside their place of residence. Many of them lack national identity cards (NIC), but even those who have NICs lack the proper evidence of marriage.

ActionAid has been working with these communities for long and in continuity of its efforts to raise voice against discrimination and deprivation of scheduled caste Hindus; it is supporting SCRM to conduct policy discussion on legal issues so that parliamentarians take up their cause in legislative perspective. The forum will help SCRM to articulate their demands for necessary legislation by the sitting government.

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