Thursday, May 19, 2011
"We cannot go back. There is an atmosphere of terror prevailing in Pakistan. We want the Government to grant us Indian citizenship," Lal said. Around 35 members of six families from Pakistan are residing in Khanna town. Some families are also staying in Rajpura for a long time ago and are seeking citizenship. These families have rued that their world is limited to the jurisdiction of Khanna and Rajpura as they are allowed to leave the station only after police permission. "They had entered India with valid travel documents, but refused to return home citing that an atmosphere of terror prevailed there and ill treatment in Pakistan," a police official in Rajpura said. A Pakistani Hindu said: "Though I am not allowed outside Rajpura without permission, I would prefer staying here rather than going back." "In the absence of citizenship rights, we face problem related to employment, housing, health, education and others... We consider India as our motherland and this is the only and last resort available for us." Scores of Pakistani Hindu families have requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to listen to their grievances.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna said he has taken up the issue of such families in the Rajya Sabha recently. Khanna, who is heading a three-member committee of the BJP constituted to locate and help Pakistani Hindu families, said they were forced to leave Pakistan "due to an atmosphere of terror there, especially the Taliban." PTI Cor SUN