Following sharp reactions in Pakistan after some visiting Hindu pilgrims claimed of settling back due to atrocities across the border, a fresh batch of 104 pilgrims that arrived in India on Saturday preferred to be tightlipped.
Yet, some of the visitors did mention that there was trouble for the Hindus in some parts of Pakistan (upper Sindh) and there might be people who would like to shift. Crossing the border this morning, the Hindu Pilgrims who have a 33-day Indian visa, came with a lot of luggage, and some were carrying even utensils and beddings.
Most of them were reluctant to talk about their intentions of staying back. Gornumal of Nawab Shah in district Hyderabad said, “We face no problems there. I don’t know who spread the rumour that all of us are migrating to India.”
He said there were some areas like upper Sindh, Jacobabad, Gorkhi and Panuakal where we heard that the Hindus were facing trouble. Another visitor Amar said, “We often hear from our friends that the minorities do face trouble in Jacobabad and some other areas of upper Sindh but otherwise things are fine.”’
He said India must give citizenship to people who wish to stay in India. Leaving aside a couple of visitors, many Pakistani Hindus dismissed the rumours of facing any pressure in Pakistan. Pooja, who came to India after 15 years, said, “I have come here on pilgrimage and to meet my family. I have no intention of staying back.”
About 223 Pakistani Hindus are on pilgrimage to India. Some of them on Thursday had said they would not go back to Pakistan, as they were facing persecution, threats of extortions and kidnapping. These statements evoked strong reactions from the Pakistan government and about 118 pilgrims were stopped on the Pakistani side of border for about five hours on Friday.
Sources claimed that the pilgrims were allowed to visit India after they submitted a written undertaking saying they would come back. Jattha leader Raj Singh, who also reached India on Saturday said, “I don’t know from where the rumours spread that we will be settling in India.”
Dismissing the reports that Hindus were facing problems in Pakistan, Singh said, “It might be partially true but most of it is overreaction.”
The Pakistani pilgrims have visas of Amritsar, Delhi, Indore, Haridwar and couple of other cities. The visitors will pay obeisance at various temples during the visit.