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India condemns targeted demolition of houses of minority Hindus in Punjab province of Pakistan, issues strong demarche

According to a statement released by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) last week, local authorities in Yamzan were responsible for the demolition of houses of the minority Hindus in Pakistan.

Despite repeated appeals by the Indian government, Imran Khan’s government has been turning a blind eye to the atrocities being meted out at the minority Hindus in Pakistan. On Tuesday, once again, India issued a “strong” demarche to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi, drawing their attention towards the “targeted and systematic demolition” of the houses of minority Hindus in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

India’s action followed serious concerns expressed by the civil society here over the targeted persecution of ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan.

“India issued a strong demarche to the Pakistani High Commission on the systematic and targeted demolition of houses belonging to minority Hindu community in Chak 52/DB, Yazman, Punjab in Pakistan,” a government source was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

Minority Hindus in Pakistan had valid documents of ownership

India has strongly condemned the incident, where the Pakistani authorities have targeted the minority Hindu community despite the occupants producing valid documents of ownership and legal relief granted against demolition.

According to sources known to the case, the Indian government has asked the Pakistani High Commission to inform relevant authorities back in Pakistan to come up with an “immediate remedial action”.

Despite restraining orders, authorities demolished houses of minority Hindus in Pakistan

According to a statement released by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) last week, local authorities in Yamzan were responsible for the demolition of houses of the Hindu community.

The fact-finding report by the HRCP said that on May 20, despite restraining orders issued by a senior civil judge of Bahawalpur bench, the local authorities levelled 25 houses and partly demolished another 10 houses belonging to Hindus, leaving the occupants including women and children homeless.

Houses of Hindu minorities demolished by Pakistani authorities

Hindu community being targeted by the Pakistani local land mafia on the basis of their faith

HRCP’s statement revealed that one of the Hindu occupants was dragged out of her house by the hair. The occupants including small children were ill-treated and rendered homeless with no food or water in such harsh weather conditions. The HRCP noted that the Hindu community are being targeted by the local land mafia on the basis of their faith.

Pakistani activist Rahat Austin had on May 22 shared video of the incident where goons of local authorities were seen demolishing houses of Hindus and Christian workers living in Yazman city of Bahawalpur district of Pakistan. The incident took place on May 20 and Federal Minister for Housing and Works, Tariq Bashir Cheema, had been named as the accused, whose goons allegedly beat people up and destroyed their houses.

The displaced people of the minority communities who were living there for over 15 years had taken to the street to protest against the alleged case of land grabbing and persecution of non-Muslims. The protestors alleged that they are starving and will die of homelessness before they die of coronavirus.

Religious persecution of minorities continues to be rampant in Pakistan. In the month of January this year, a Muslim had abducted a Hindu girl while her wedding was in progress and then proceeded to convert her to Islam and marry her. In the wake of such incidents, the United States Of America officially launched a 27-nation International Religious Freedom Alliance in February, 2020, which will try to protect and preserve religious freedom across the world. During the launch, USA especially highlighted the plight of Hindus in Pakistan.

Citizenship Amendment Act

In view of such incidents rising in Islamic countries, India recently passed the Citizenship Amendment Act which gives fast-track citizenship to persecuted minorities of the three neighbouring Islamic states of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. After the passage of the Act, Muslim mobs went on a rampage, rioting and causing arson and violence throughout the country.

Islamists came out of the woodwork to claim that the Muslims were being discriminated against since CAA provided fast-track citizenship to only persecuted minorities of Islamic nations but not Muslims. Adding to that, Muslim leader Asadduddin Owaisi went as far as to demand proof that minorities were persecuted in Pakistan.

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