Original Articles

International Women Day and Pakistani Hindu Women’s Persecution Issues. By: Vajeesh Partab

On March 8 Women’s International Day, this is a day of the world, where we’re celebrating the achievements of women’s empowerment in social, economic, cultural, and political participation in society around the world. This day is celebrated in various countries, through meetings, seminars, and rally by numerous institutions and organizations in all countries around the world, for discussion that it is very important for the beauty of society to have women’s rights. This day is celebrating from 110 years in the world and the first women’s national day was celebrated by the United States of America on February 28, 1909, and this initiative was taken by the American Socialist Party in honor of New York’s Women Garment Workers. And thus worked for women’s rights struggle in various regions around the world. Later in the United Nations on March 8, 1975, celebrating the women’s celebration the day announced globally.

December 2018, according to the global survey, the total population of the world was more than seven billion (7,669,109,078) and in which more than three and a half billion (3,800,750,379) population of women and according to the statistics, the 50 percent of the population are on women. Therefore, it is right to say that the half-population of the world consists of women, and yet women do not have full rights. According to figures, the total population of Pakistan (203,977,954) which is reported in December 2018, and 51% of the country’s population consists of women, but the state’s biggest failure to give the equal rights to our women for their empowerment. Because our society has avoided trusting on them, we have to remember that in the regime of Dictator General Ayub Khan, during Presidential election in 1965, the mother of nation, Ms. Fatima Jinnah had been victimized from the abusive and insulting behavior by  society system and we also forgot that in Movement of Pakistan Ms. Fatima Jinnah’s role is not hidden from anyone for the struggle, but the dictatorship generalized the idea regarding Ms. Fatima Jinnah for the Presidential election, saying that “a woman cannot lead the state” and Ms. Fatima Jinnah had to face defeat for the Presidential election. Later, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto gave a bold message to the world after the long struggle in the era of General Zia ul Haq and she became the first woman Prime Minister of the Muslim world, then Zia ’s supporter, Nawaz Sharif made his speeches to overthrow Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s government. Apart from the aircraft, their unnecessary photos campaign started, but salute to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, who kept her motivations and intentions strong and got death to deal with the democratic system in the country, and the evening 27 December 2007 terrorists murdered her in Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi.

Now, let’s talk of a few women who became women rights struggle to achieve their fundamental rights, such as Asma Jehangir, Mukhtar Mai, Malala Yousafzai etc.

In Pakistan, Hindus and other women who face other issues besides their rights, which are to change their religion forcibly and misuse of blasphemy law. For the past 10 years, hundreds of Hindu girls in Pakistan are forced to kidnap and convert their religion to Islam, in which they are at least 18 years old,

In 2011, when Sindh’s Muslim religious extremist leader Pir Abdul Haq (Mian Mithu) kidnapped Sindh’s Hindu daughter Rinkle Kumari (Faryal) and made her a Muslim, the media highlighted this problem by the help of civil society organizations of the Sindh, but the judicial system of the country gave the decision against the parents of Rinkle Kumari since then this process is being continued and many Hindu girls are abducted. In this situation,  the Hindus forced to migrate from the country, in 2012, more than 1200 Hindus were forced to migrate from Pakistan, but this procedure could not be stopped and Pakistan’s Hindu community continues to be violent in some way and the process of leaving homeland is continues till now.

In November 2016, a bill of forcibly conversion of religion  for religious minorities in province was presented in the Sindh Assembly which the Assembly unanimously passed and presented to the office Governor Sindh to approve it for the act of law. But, other religious groups, especially Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam religious political based leaders had  strongly opposed against the bill in other provinces and they started the long- March (Protest) against this bill in the country. And with this pressure, the PPP (Government Sindh) had to take this bill back and assured the Hindu community that it would be brought back to the House of Representatives with some amendment but still a bill is not presented. No, doubt, this is lawful discrimination with Hindus of country by the State of Pakistan.

23 June 2017, this day in Pakistan is considered as a black day for Hindu community because on that day, the underage Hindu girl kidnapped by the extremist Muslim man.  Sindh’s daughter Ravita Meghwar, was kidnapped and forcibly converted into Muslim religion and the Sindh High Court gave a decision against Ravita’s parent and permitted to her lived with Muslim husband, according to the constitution, the underage wedding is considered illegal but the 16-year-old girl could not be saved under this law. Due to this, the state and judicial system based on discrimination laws that the religion of the state is Islam. According to the law, Ravita Meghwar has entered the circle of Islam Religion and this marriage is permissible, while in 2013, the Sindh Government has declared illegal marriage on underage girls and made a law to ban on underage marriage in the province but this law has no significance in court’s opinion. Many such incidents continued to happen, which include Simran, Aarti Kumari, Monika, etc. In October 2017, a small village of District Badin, where 200 Hindu people were lived there, they had been converted by the Muslims. Then later in March 2018, Matli, the downtrodden area of Sindh more than 500 Hindu people to be forced to change their religion due to social pressure by Muslim Extremists.  Thus, Pakistani Hindus community is being forced to adopt Sikh religion in order to avoid this violence, in some way that they maintain their relationship with Hindu culture.

According to the publication Daily Awam from Karachi, last year reported that 47 Hindu Girls were abducted in the past 4 months of the year 2018, to get gender relationship with them illegally or through changing of religion. In addition to this, Hindu girls were targeted from extremist Muslims in Karachi, such as the daughter of Lyari, Shobha Bai, who was a banker. She was abducted and asked everyone that she has been accepted, Islam but her family members are not allowed to meet their daughter, but the girl’s family is being harassed and threatened to be silent by the extremist feudal. But our Christian Sister Pastor Ghazala Shafeeq, who serves as a social leader to improve the society, has given shelter to the family of Shobha Bai and helped them get protection. The native Police did not consider to launched their FIR (complain), thereafter Shobha family members have demonstrated at Karachi Press Club and demanded that if we can not get equal rights so Government of Pakistan should allow them to go India because the State of Pakistan is not considering as an equal and patriotic citizen of Pakistan. Sadly, on this important issue in our country, all the pillars of the state are silent. Why?

Our country’s media presents only dramatic news to get high ranking its screen. Why? Without the end of persecution and discrimination laws, Pakistan cannot become a prosperous and peaceful country. This year, Pakistani Women Parliamentarian leaders attended the International UN Conference on CSW 63 and it is being discussed that how important legislation is being made for the protection and empowerment of women in Pakistan. But in this regard, the tremendous fact is that the performance of political, military and judicial leadership in practical form is inaccessible.

The Writer tweets at : @Vajeesh