Pakistani Hindu refugees staying at Bhati Mines in Sanjay Nagar. Photo/ANI
Pakistani Hindu refugees staying at Bhati Mines in Sanjay Nagar. Photo/ANI

Pakistani Hindu refugees hail passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha

ANI | Updated: Dec 11, 2019 15:59 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 11 (ANI): Pakistani Hindu refugees staying at Bhati Mines in Sanjay Nagar here on Wednesday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and Union Minister Amit Shah for the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha.
Talib Kumar, a refugee who came to India in 1978, told ANI: "I was just nine-year-old when I came here. The main reason why we came here is the fact that we don't have a future in Pakistan. We were forced to convert to Islam. Above all, our daughters and sisters were taken away from our homes and forced to convert to Islam at the gunpoint."
Adding that there are many people who are going through traumatic experiences even now in Pakistan, Kumar said: "Several incidents of kidnapping and molesting of Hindu women go unreported in Pakistan. Sometimes they barge into houses and rape our women. We are so grateful to the Modi government and Home Minister Amit Shah for taking a stand for us."
"However, I plead the government of India, PM Modi and Amit Shah to make the process of getting visa easy to a Hindu family or a Hindu from Pakistan so that they can save their sisters and daughters in Pakistan," he said.
He added, "I don't think even any Muslim would like to go to Pakistan and get its citizenship. With the help of extremist groups like ISIS, they are ill-treating Hindus."
Another refugee Shrikhand Kambra, who came to India in 1961, said: "When the partition took place, the Muslims in Pakistan told my grandfather and others that Hindus are their brothers. However, after a point, they started to show their real colours. That is why we came to India, leaving everything behind."
"Minor girls are being forced to convert to Islam. We are not even allowed to celebrate our festivals in Pakistan. Hence, we had to do all the religious ceremonies secretly," said he.
Adding that those political parties opposing the Bill shouldn't be given a single vote in the coming elections, Kambra said: "Those who oppose the Bill are completely against the Hindu society. Such people shouldn't be given a single vote in the upcoming elections."
Another refugee Amir Chand said: "I came to India in 2014 and all we want is citizenship. We don't have any other demand than this. We plead other political parties opposing the Bill to cooperate with the government to pass this Bill and make it a law."
"We were discriminated on the basis of our religion. Our daughters are raped in Pakistan. No one from the Hindu community will ever get any chance to be in power. They don't induct Hindus into its army. If the Bill becomes law, our children will get equal opportunities," Jawahar, who came to India in 2013, told ANI.
"We are not snatching anyone's rights. we are reiterating that the fact that our lives aren't safe in Pakistan. We want to live in India as its citizen with all the rights," he added.
Another refugee Harchand said: "Though my four brothers, family and other relatives are in Pakistan, I will never go back to Pakistan at any cost. We are not even paid for the work just because we are Hindus."
The Bill, which seeks to give citizenship to refugees from the Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zorastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh was passed in Lok Sabha on Monday. (ANI)

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