Killing of Hindus in Pakistan?
December 18, 2006 11:19pm CST
But that is only the latest chapter of a much longer pattern of persecution. Hindus comprised 30 per cent of Bangladesh's population in 1947 but are less than 10 per cent today. The estimated loss of 20 million Bangladeshi Hindus is because of an ongoing genocide and forced exodus. An interesting and sad aside to that statistic is that much of the purge has occurred well after the liberation of that country thanks to Indian blood and treasure. Hindus in what is now Pakistan have declined from 23 per cent of the total population in 1947 to less than 2 per cent today. The report rightly condemns Pakistan for systematic state-sponsored religious discrimination against Hindus through bigoted "anti-blasphemy" laws. It documents numerous reports of millions of Hindus being held as "bonded laborers" in slavery-like conditions in rural Pakistan, something repeatedly ignored by the government. Pakistan aggressively portrays its struggle against India as a Hindu-Muslim conflict, making it clear that its own Hindu minority is fair game for persecution. Even within India, the pattern is the same. The combination of Pakistani-sponsored violence and local anti-Hindu sentiment has led to a similar "religious cleansing" of the Kashmir valley, where almost all the Hindus have fled. Much like the Bangladeshi Hindu refugees in India, the Kashmiri Hindus are an unpalatable subject for many Indians, an ideological embarrassment for some people who feel uneasy about discussing the persecution of Hindus by Muslims. Some Indians still prefer to blame the Indian government for the flight of Kashmiri Hindus, deliberately ignoring the campaign launched by various Muslim groups to use public threats and violence, including murder, to terrify the local Hindus into leaving.