The Minority Persecution in 'Naya' Pakistan

With the alarming rate of oppression of the Pakistani minorities, a large humanitarian crisis in South-Asia looms over this persecution of innocent communities by a radicalized majoritarian population guarded by the establishment of "Naya" Pakistan.

The Minority Persecution in 'Naya' Pakistan
via Human Rights Watch


By Abhilash Halappanavar

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan who claims to be peace-loving and a champion of Human Rights today finds himself trapped in the hole dug by him. On every international platform, he has been raising the so called persecution of minorities in India. His unsolicited love for the Indian minorities has made him throw a blind eye to the amplified persecution of the HinduSikhAhmadi & Christian communities in Pakistan. In the continued persecution of the Hindu community by radical Islamists in Pakistan another incident occurred on the 30th December 2020. The fracas took place in a village located in the Karak district, situated in the province of Khyber Pakthunkhwa. A charged mob of around 1000 people incited by the local Muslim clerics to destroy the Hindu temple attacked a century-old Hindu shrine and desecrated it.

Intolerance and violence against Hindu minority is a routine business in Pakistan, where Muslims constitute 97 percent of the population and Hindu,s a meagre 2 percent. Radical Islamisation of the general population via clerics & Madrasas has led to forced conversions, targeted killings, and desecration of religious places of the minorities in Pakistan. This intolerance of Pakistan has bagged a spot for itself in the group of blacklisted countries that violate religious freedom.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah on 11th August 1947 in his speech to the Constituent Assembly of the soon to be independent Pakistan state had said, "In course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State". However, today Pakistan under the hybrid power structure of the Pakistan Army & Imran Khan has become a nightmare for its minorities. Hindus and other minorities are anything but equal citizens of the State. In the political sense, they are hardly counted as citizens. Appeasement of religious extremists by Pakistani politicians in every social aspect of existence has meant that the minority communities have been systematically debased and persecuted in a host of crushing measures. This has given rise to an increased level of violence, notably religiously motivated kidnapping, assault, sexual crimes, and murder. Minority Religious shrines are a particularly favourite target. 

The 1951 census found that in Pakistan 15% of the population was Hindu. The 1998 census of Pakistan counted 1.6% of the population as Hindus. This implied 3 million Hindus. Currently, the Muslim population in India is around 14%, while in Pakistan the Hindus are just over 2%. Hindu females in particular are the target of forced marriages and thereby forced conversion to Islam, claiming it is the "woman" or "girl’s" 'choice'. For instance, in September 2020 a 14-year-old Hindu girl Parsha Kumari had been kidnapped in the Mori district of Khairpur in Sindh. Media reports stated that she was forcibly converted and married to her kidnapper Abdul Saboor Shah. The family of the girl reported the incident to the police, but the police failed to take any action against the perpetrators. The above is just a single case out of thousands of such incidents happening daily across Pakistan.

In June 2020, 102 Hindus in the Sindh province of Pakistan were forced to take up Islam. Pakistan has a history of atrocities against Hindus in Pakistan. The women are raped at an alarming frequency, forcibly converted to Islam, and are thrown into the abyss of misery.


The same holds out for the Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadis of Pakistan. In particular, the Ahmadis have been deprived of their individuality, as the Sunni Muslim majority state of Pakistan has been sophistically marginalizing them. Pakistani administration has repeatedly failed to safeguard the human rights and security of the Ahmadiyya community. The Pakistani penal code explicitly discriminates against religious minorities and targets Ahmadis by forbidding them from directly or indirectly posing as a Muslim. Ahmadis are prohibited from expressing or propagating their faith publicly, building mosques, or making the Azan calls for prayer.


 The authorities have been erratically arresting, charging, and detaining Ahmadis for blasphemy and other offences because of their religious beliefs. The security forces too have often been complicit in harassment and filing falsified charges against Ahmadis or have not acted enough to stop anti-Ahmadi brutality. The Pakistani establishment's failure to prevent religious persecution of Ahmadis has aided violence against them in the name of religion.

The Pakistani government brazenly promotes discriminatory practices against Ahmadis. For example, the Pakistani Muslim citizens applying for passports are required to give an undertaking stating that they consider the institutor of the Ahmadi community an "imposter" and that Ahmadis are non-Muslims. All such persecutions occur with guidance and motivation from radical clerics who are in bed with the current dispensation of the Imran Khan government.

The repeated victimization of the Hindu, Sikh, Christian & Ahmadi communities in Pakistan is making the minorities in that country disappear from Pakistan with India being the favoured destination for a fresh start to their lives. India has been a victim or load bearer for Pakistani atrocities against its minorities, first in the 1970s when in East-Pakistan(Bangladesh) the military action against the Bengalis led to the mass exodus of people into North-Eastern India and now Pakistani Hindus, Sikhs, Christians fleeing their homes seek refuge in the Western parts of India in states like Rajasthan, Punjab & Gujarat.

The Hindu Temple destruction by a radicalized mob in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is an alarming situation of a blown-out war on the civil liberties of the minority communities in Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan's PTI currently is the ruling party in this province, the so-called liberal Prime Minister of Pakistan, and his credibility and posturing on minority rights through this incident has gone for a toss. Going by his inaction on religious extremists brutalizing Pakistan's minorities, Imran Khan's unsolicited banter on human rights violation in Palestine, India, or anywhere else in the world is nothing more than "Hypocrisy". With the alarming rate of oppression of the Pakistani minorities, a large humanitarian crisis in South-Asia looms over this persecution of innocent communities by a radicalized majoritarian population guarded by the establishment of "Naya" Pakistan.

Abhilash Halappanavar is a Junior Fellow at Usanas Foundation. He focuses on defence and technology.

Disclaimer: This paper is the author’s individual scholastic contribution and does not reflect the organisation’s viewpoint.