LAHORE - Some 60 Hindu families from Balochistan and Sindh have decided to migrate to India following an increase in cases of violence against the minority community.
On Thursday, four families left for India via Samjhota Express from Lahore while the remaining are likely to leave Pakistan on Friday (today). Speaking to reporters, some members of the four families that left for India said that they were forced to leave Pakistan after their homes and shops were looted, and their women were forcibly converted. The Hindu families are travelling to India on visit visas and would most probably seek asylum when they reach the country. Meanwhile in Karachi, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah took notice of the pleas of Hindu community and formulated a three-member committee headed by the minorities minister to give assurance to the Hindu families that they would be secure in Pakistan. In Islamabad, Interior Minister Rehman Malik dismissed the reports of migrations as propaganda. He said that propaganda is being made at the international level about the migration of Hindus from Pakistan, adding that the Indian High Commission has been asked to explain why it issued visas to 250 Hindu citizens of Pakistan. Talking to a private TV channel, Sindh Minister for Excise and Taxation Mukesh Kumar Chawla denied reports that Hindu families were migrating to India over security concerns. “Around 200-250 Hindus are going to India for pilgrimage… they will return to Pakistan within 40 days,” he said, but admitted that there was a poor law and order situation in Sindh.