Hindu children in Pak claim they sit in separate classrooms
Discrimination, it seems, is a way of life for the Hindus based in certain parts of Pakistan. Not only religious conversions and kidnappings, children of these families claim they also face discrimination in schools in the upper Sindh areas.punjab Updated: Aug 21, 2012 12:04 IST
Discrimination, it seems, is a way of life for the Hindus based in certain parts of Pakistan.
Not only religious conversions and kidnappings, children of these families claim they also face discrimination in schools in the upper Sindh areas.
As the family of Sarwan Kumar landed at the Attari railway station on Monday, his daughter Sindhu Kumari, a class VII student, said, "There are different classrooms for us. We are not allowed to sit in the classrooms of the Muslim students."
When asked whether she would like to live in India, Sindhu said, "dekhenge (we will see)."
Her brother Neel also maintained that in certain schools of upper Sindh areas the Hindu children were being discriminated against.
Even though Pakistani authorities continued to claim that it was making efforts to protect the minorities, the inflow of Pakistani Hindus continued unabated.
Several of these families arrived at Attari with a 'wait-and-watch' mindset, but the heaps of baggage they carried suggested otherwise.
Coming to India through the Samjhauta Express, Sarwan Kumar, who hailed from Gurki in upper Sindh, said, "We have come here for a holiday on a one-month visa. There are a lot of problems back home."
Kumar admitted that India offered a better future for their children. "But there are a lot of other things that we need to take care of before migrating."
Sarwan said he had given a written undertaking saying they would return to Pakistan. "Sign to karvaye hain humse (we were made to sign)."
Most of the families, however, were wary of saying anything controversial and refused to entertain questions regarding their intentions of staying back.
Manohar Lal, an elderly Hindu, expressed his concern about the kidnappings in some areas of Sindh. "Sab pata hai aap logon ko, mushkil to hai hi udhar (You people know everything. There are problems there)," he said.
The family also mentioned a couple of cases regarding kidnapping of minority girls in Pakistan.
The family of Akash Kumar also arrived on a 20-day visa. Kumar maintained that they had no intention of staying back, though the amount of luggage they were carrying belied their claims.
"We have come from Balochistan. We will be going back, as I own a shop there," said Akash.
When asked about the persecution Hindus faced there, Akash said, "Hota bhi hoga (maybe it does happen).'
Returning to India after meeting his relatives in Pakistan, Pawan Kukreja said, "There is a lot of trouble in Pakistan. We often hear of kidnappings of girls and forced conversions. There are seven members in my relative's family there and they have planned to migrate to India in December."|
This needs to be investigated: Sheikh
Reacting to the claims made by some children of the Hindu families based in Pakistan's Sindh region that they were made to sit in separate classrooms, Awais Sheikh, a Pak lawyer said, "If the children are saying this, there is a serious need to get it investigated. Even they are Pakistani nationals and cannot be treated like that. If it's true, the Pakistani government must intervene."
Sheikh, who is also contesting the case of the Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, said, "The migration, if it's happening, is really unfortunate. Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari has already set up a committee in this regard."
He said Pakistan needed to take concrete steps to make minorities feel safe. "All those who have migrated must be brought back after giving them assurance," said Shiekh.
First Published: Aug 21, 2012 11:32 IST