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Bad times hit Hindus of Badani in Pakistan Pakistan Hindus
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Bad times hit Hindus of Badani in Pakistan

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 30 Jun 2023, 11:27 pm

Killings of men, kidnappings, and forced conversions of women in Pakistan’s Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces have made religious minorities feel unsafe.

But an account says that a hundred Hindu families in the Kashmore district of Sindh, are “preparing to leave/migrate to India.”

As per this report in the Urdu newspaper Ibrat (June 27, 2023), Badani and Kandhkot in Kashmore have witnessed six killings in recent months.

They are preceded by kidnappings for ransom. The latest incident in June concerned a businessman, Jagdish Kumar and a four-year-old child in Badani City.

The father-son duo was returning home from Badani to Kandhkot. “About 100 families are preparing to leave/migrate to India,” the Ibrat report said, quoting Advocate Abdullah C.

These families are among the 35,022 Hindus (three per cent of the total population, as per the 2017 census figures) in Kashmore, formerly Jacobabad, which is located deep inside Pakistan on the border of Sindh and is the ‘gateway’ to Punjab and Balochistan, as per official records.

The Hindu minorities in Sindh have been particularly vulnerable to killings of men and forced conversion, after the abduction, of young Hindu girls.

An organised movement promoted by a Muslim priest, Maulana Mian Mithu has thrived for many years, with the administration – the police, the court and the state authorities – rendered ineffective.

This is despite frequent media reports and protests by human rights bodies. Of Kashmore, Advocate Abdullah C writes: “This is the sixth incident in recent times with Hindus at Badani. Earlier, Srichand and his brother left for India when Gurnomal was kidnapped. Srichand and his brother, who were businessmen, used to get extortion threats.”

“I also recall my friends, Dilip Kumar and his brother, Thanwardas, who used to lend us books and pens too. They too left for India when the dacoits’ menace was at its peak in Badani’s interiors. Lawlessness was on rise at Badani and decent and law-abiding Hindu families always used to be easy targets of these criminals and miscreants.”

“In past, the Badani population was meagre, but Hindus from other parts came here due to water and other issues in their areas. These Hindus have been living in Sindh even before partition times. They started their business too at Badani changing the look of Badani village and giving it a new urban look. Today, Badani tops the list of cities in the district as doing maximum grain business and credit for it goes only to Hindus.”

“Hindus at this place are much agitated because Jagdish Kumar was kidnapped in a daring daylight act.

Jagdish Kumar was a cloth merchant over the years at Badani. Others including Sikhs, Lunds and Mandhan also do business here.

Hindus living in Kandhkot and its vicinity have been living exemplary lives even before partition times. They always rush to help others including Muslims during tough times due to floods, or even during Kabila (clans) clashes.”

Advocate Abdullah C. cautions: “Today, conditions are too bad at Badani. If Hindus leave this city following recent kidnapping cases, then Badani will be back to its earlier times, which will mean a big loss to others living at Badani.”

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sikhs, another religious minority, have witnessed four ‘daylight’ killings of businessmen in the last three months.

The Caretaker Chief Minister held a meeting with a Sikh delegation, gave assurances of improved law and order and paid compensation to the families of Manmohan Singh of Peshawar and of Trilok Singh. Calling the Sikhs a “peace-loving community”, he asked the IG of the police to form a plan for the security of the minorities and ordered to install CCTV cameras in the residential and business areas inhabited by the Sikhs, according to Urdu daily newspaper Aeen (June 27, 2023).  

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