The position of the minority communities gradually worsened over the years as a result of the rise of the Taliban in Pakistan. The Pakistan Government (in collaboration with the USA) initially nurtured the Taliban to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan right through the 1980s.

After the Soviet withdrawal around 1990, anti-India elements in Pakistan began to groom the Taliban and other hard-line jihadist groups to conduct "cross-border" incursions against India.

In other words, the focus of these jihadist groups turned towards "Hindu" India.

However, as a result of international pressure, Government of Pakistan has had to eventually restrict the elements within the state establishment that had been proactively helping the extremists to attack India.

The writer is not sure whether these cross-border attacks have ceased entirely.

The ranks of the these jihadist groups had been (and likely still are) swelling over the years. It is substantially because Pakistan has a large young population, many of who cannot find useful employment. This is because the economy has lacked a powerful internal engine to propel growth and job creation.

The fact that Pakistan has one the highest illiteracy rates in the world (42% of population) worsens the problem.

The lack of economic opportunities attracts unemployable youth to the madrassas where they are at least guaranteed meals, shelter and pocket-money for their families. In exchange, they are indoctrinated in extremist ideas. Some students join the madrassa as young as age five.

However, as a result of slowdown (or cessation) of attacks on India, these jihadist groups (which comprise almost entirely of Sunni Muslims) began switching their pent-up energy towards other Muslims (Shias, Ahmedis) and Hindus and Christians.

The lack of productive job opportunities in Pakistan has also heightened males' desire to kidnap Hindu girls. In Pakistan, it is customary for Muslim men to pay a prospective bride's family in cash to compensate them for "releasing"  their daughter to the man. In contrast, a kidnapped Hindu girl comes for almost free.

The writer ends this sub-section with a string of quotes from the Al-Jazeera article:

"Jai Prakash Moorani, editor of the Sindhi daily, Ibrat, told Al Jazeera that forced conversions are indeed taking place amid Pakistan's permissive legal system.

" "When Hindu girls are kidnapped, forcibly converted and married to Muslims, the police government and courts all turn a blind eye," Moorani said, noting this encourages more abductions and forced conversions.

"Civil-rights activists maintain that because there has NEVER been a court ruling on forced conversions in support of the aggrieved Hindu families, there is no precedent to deter the crime."

The article continues:

" "Pakistan was built in the name of Islam," Sanaullah Abbasi, the Deputy Chief Inspector General of Police of Hyderabad told Al Jazeera."This makes it very easy to exploit religious minorities in our country," he conceded." [ VIEW ARTICLE ]

Click here to Continue > The Hindu Mindset Problem

[ Return to top ]