By Sangeeta Kohli
NHSF (UK) PR Team
On the 14th August 1947 Pakistan became an independent country, separating from India on the basis of religious differences. During the partition not all Muslims migrated to ‘The Islamic Republic of Pakistan’, and not all Hindus and Sikhs migrated to ‘The Republic of India’. This evidently left many Mandirs in Pakistan which Pakistani Hindus till today still visit and practise their faith and religion at.
On Sunday 2nd December 2012 in Karachi, Pakistan, a builder, who arrived with police escort at a local Mandir in Soldier Bazaar, bulldozed over the Mandir ruining not just the building but the religious property inside. This act has not only shattered the building, but continues to shatter the declining faith Hindus have in the Pakistani government.
The Shri Rama Pir Mandir, which was built before the India and Pakistan partition, is now nothing but rubble. Despite the angered Hindus protests, pictures and the Presidents’ notice, Director of Military Lands and Cantonment Zeenat Ahmed insists that the temple has not been touched and implies that this crime is staged.
These allegations have hurt the minority further, but this still does not stop them from demanding compensation for damages, and demanding religious property back that they claim was taken during the demolition. Sindh Vice Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Amarnath Motumal states that they will not take such injustice, and no one has the right to desecrate a temple regardless of its age.
This injustice adds to the regular complaint by Pakistani Hindus that they are not treated equally, Hindu girls are forcibly converted into Islam and property from Hindus are being taken on a regular basis. The underlying issue really is, when will all this stop? When will Hindus be able to live with the same respect and equality as the rest of the Pakistani nation?
Rahul Nair has produced a film called ‘Human Boundaries’ which NHSF (UK) will be screening in the first half of 2013. The film highlights and focuses on the issues faced by Pakistani Hindus in Pakistan, and when trying to seek asylum into India.