---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Krishan Bhatnagar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:33 PM
Subject: Open Letter to PM of Pakistan : Stop Persecution of non-Muslim Minorities
Prime Minster of Pakistan,
Freedom loving people all around the world and those believing in equality and freedom of all religions (billions in numbers) particularly Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and others are appalled at the continued persecution of the minority Hindus in Pakistan and the colossal failure of the Govt. to stop this genocidal and highly provocative movement. The latest examples of this ongoing saga of unlawful and inhuman activities in Pakistan is contained in the below given attachments A, B & C. These are just a few instances that we reproduce as evidence though such acts of communal hatred and ethnic cleansing against the minorities, more importantly against Hindus and Sikhs, take place in the Islamic state on a regular basis.
This anti-Hindu, anti-Sikh crusade is not restricted to depriving them of their properties and places of worship but the abduction of Hindu women, forcible conversion to Islam and subsequent marriages with Muslim persons seems to have become a common place. How ironic yet hypocritical it is on the part of Pakistan to demand equal and special status for Muslims in other countries but refuse to provide the same treatment to its own non-Muslim minorities?
Mr. Prime Minister, how sad and regrettable it is that on the one hand your Govt. claims to be a representative Govt. yet it has elected to throw into the dust bin the numerous representations made by the victimized Hindu community of Pakistan against the oft repeated waves of criminal behavior towards them. As a member of the United Nations and its acceptance of the UN Charter, Pakistan is committed to maintaining freedom and equality of all religions. Unfortunately that commitment has fully and completely been trampled upon in the case of its non-Muslim minorities. The naked aggression by one religion with a view to deprive the other religions of their assets and sources of sustenance and the forcible conversions must be considered criminal and therefore, severely punishable under the law. Pakistan has failed in this test as well.
For safeguarding minority Hindu temples and institutions, it is absolutely important that the Govt. constitute a Waqf like autonomous Hindu Board. The role of the community in temple management and setting up Hindu Advisory Councils must be an integral part of the new policy. Such councils could play a meaningful role in oversight and decision making process utilized by the officials dealing with temples and their Trusts. Such Councils, elected or nominated by the Community, state and national religious leaders, could shoulder a significant amount of decision making and management responsibilities. They could also contribute in stopping the ongoing desecration and decimation of the religious infrastructures by recommending the necessary remedial measures for quick enforcement by the authorities.
We believe that the current high level talks between governments of India and Pakistan for "building trust" between the two nations would be futile if there is no proven and verifiable trust between Hindus and Muslims due to the former being continuously persecuted. As you might remember Mr. Prime Minister, the lack of trust between these communities was the very basis of Partition of India in 1947. We sincerely believe that at this point in time Pakistan has an invaluable opportunity in wiping out terrorism against Hindus and other non-Muslim minorities and prove to the world at large that she was not interested in aiding, encouraging and abating terrorists and militants and that the Indo-Pak talks were not just a political deception or gimmickry created by the Western world and Islamabad.
According to the information available to us Muslims in India do not only enjoy “equality” in their citizenship status but they were also showered upon special privileges and voluminous reservations in every walk of life. Consequently since the partition their population has increased four fold from 35 million (1951 census) to 140 million. However, according to reports, in Pakistan during the same period the numbers of Hindu and Sikh population have shrunk from 25-30% to less than 1%. Obviously such massive disappearance of the minority population in a short span of time speaks volumes about Pakistan’s policy towards her minorities.
The continuation of the policy of “hate crimes” against the non-Muslims by Islamabad at some point could likely have an adverse impact upon India’s liberal and special policy towards her Muslim population. Accordingly the question we might ask is it Pakistan’s goal to hurt the Indian Muslims by calling in to question India’s liberal policy towards her Muslim citizens? If not, in that case there has to be a radical transformation in Islamabad’s policy towards the non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan. Least your Govt. could do is to adopt a policy of reciprocity.
We do not need to remind you Sir, that there is already a huge amount of backlash and resentment against Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism and militancy in the West -- Europe and America included. Your country has been described as the epicenter of these disturbing developments while the continuing persecution of minorities in Pakistan only enhances such a view. In America a vast majority of people are strongly questioning in fact publicly opposing the plan for building a grand Islamic Mosque in New York close to the site of the former World Trade Towers. And in France, the authorities are seriously considering a proposal to ban wearing of "burqas" in public by Muslim women! Additional half a dozen European states are said to be ready to follow that path.
We would like to thank you in advance for your time and consideration. We are also hoping for receiving an early response, strongly upholding equality and freedom of all faiths as dictated by United Nations Charter and the universal principles of equality and reciprocity.
Hindu Jagran Forum (USA)
July 30, 2010