Pakistan’s atrocities against its minority Hindu population is well documented. The Hindu community is facing an unprecedented assault in Ghotki, located 425 kilometres north of Karachi. The events that have been taking place in Ghotki are bone-chilling and have been led by the influential Pir of Bharchundi Sharif, Pir Abdul Haq alias Mian Mithu who has abducted 117 Hindu girls, forcefully converted them and subsequently sold and married off to Muslim men.
The abduction and forced conversions of two underage Hindu girls Raveena (13) and Reena (15) from Ghotki in Pakistan’s Sindh on the eve of Holi earlier this year were also orchestrated by Mian Mithu and his name sends shivers down the spine of Hindus in Ghotki. He was a Member of National Parliament when he successfully contested on a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) ticket in 2008. He is considered to be close to the actual head of state of Pakistan, Army Chief General Bajwa and has been snapped multiple times with him. Despite his earlier association with the PPP, he also enjoys a good relationship with Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) with the latter even inviting him to join his party in 2015.
One has to always tread the line of caution while living in Pakistan as allegations of blasphemy are a regular occurrence and one doesn’t need much proof to back his/her claim of blasphemy. An allegation of blasphemy effectively means a death sentence in Pakistan.
A 15-year old student from Ghotki accused his Principal, Notan Lal of blasphemy as he alleged that Lal insulted the prophet during a lesson on his life and travel between two holy cities.
The allegation prompted Islamic Radicals to take to the streets who started vandalising Hindu temples and ransacked Hindu homes in Ghotki. The radicals broke windows and damaged the idols present in the temple. They forced the business to shut as they continued to spread violence by breaking and looting shops belonging to Hindus and called for “blasphemers” to be put to death.
They later blocked a National Highway to pressurise the police to arrest Lal and hence, Lal was booked under Article 295(c) that pertains to “derogatory remarks in respect of the Holy Prophet” of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The student, Muhammad Ihtisham later retracted his statement and has now revealed that he accused the Lal “in a fit of rage” as he had not learned his lesson which had led to Lal scolding him. The scolding prompted him to make such grave accusations but seeing the violence, the scared student apologised on Social Media and asked for forgiveness from his ‘Sir Notan.’
This incident is a prime example of how the minority Hindu population continued to be attacked regularly based on false and frivolous allegations.
The case has many twists and turns and there is more to this than meets the eye. Ghotki has been terrorised by Mian Mithu who due to his power and influence, continues to abduct Hindu girls and forcefully convert them at his will.
One such girl was an 11-year old Monika who was abducted last year by Mian Mithu and his goons. The girl had been rescued and the court directed the police to return the girl to her parents since she was underage. Monika was provided shelter by Lal at his residence and the poor girl was again abducted just a day before Lal was accused of blasphemy and the subsequent violence that erupted with it.
It is believed that the accusation of blasphemy and violence were staged by Mian Mithu to cover up the abduction so that the Hindu community in the area could not have the chance to protest against the kidnapping and in a video released on Twitter Mian Mithu can be seen seen inciting and leading a mob which later vandalised the Hindu temple in Ghotki and unleashed an attack on Hindus.
He enjoys close ties with the Army Chief Bajwa, Pakistan PM Imran Khan and both the ruling and opposition parties PTI and PPP respectively which allows him to even influence the judiciary if a Hindu family decides to go to court against Mithu. It is evident from the case of Rinkle Kumari, as her family filed a petition in the courts that Mithu supported her abduction. The court decided, after hearing Kumari’s statement, to send her with her husband, but her family alleged that Mithu used strong-arm tactics and political influence during the legal process to influence the outcome.
The kidnapping of Monika was not the only thing that Mithu aimed to cover-up with his diversion of rioting. Just a day after the violence in Ghotki, a final year student of BDS at Bibi Asifa Dental College of Larkana, Namrita Chandani, hailing from Ghotki, was mysteriously found dead in her hostel room. While the college administration tried to pass it off as a case of suicide, the fact that her body was lying on the bed and not hanging which generally happens in the case of suicide by hanging, has raised further questions. There were signs of struggle by Namrita as she attempted to save her life and additionally, her phone was also missing which was later recovered by the Police. Her brother, Dr Vishal urged the citizens to help him and his family in ensuring a fair investigation as they were a minority.
Mian Mithu’s systematically abducting and converting the Hindu girls has become more brazen ever since the Imran Khan government assumed power in Pakistan. In yet another shocking incident in Ghotki in 2016, a Hindu girl, Anila Bagri had been sold by a Pakistani police official for Rs 50,000. Anila Bagri was abducted from her hometown, Mirpur Mathelo of Ghotki district and was later rescued by the local police.
Upon hearing the news of her rescue, her family approached the Mirpur Mathelo Police where Police official Sajjad Qazi refused to let her go and demanded Rs 50,000 for her release. Qazi proceeded to hand over Anila to his friend Zafar Masoori in return for Rs 50,000 after which she was forcefully converted and married to Masoori. Needless to say, Mian Mithu played a pivotal role in the abduction and forced conversion of Anila, with the former facing 117 cases of abduction and forced conversion of Hindu girls.
It seems that, if Pakistan is continued to be left to people like Mithu, the day is not far when even animals in Pakistan are forced to practice Islam.
From 23% at the time of Partition, Hindus constitute around 5-6% of the total population today and will continue to decline as Pakistan attempts to displace whatever little Hindu population which is there in the country as they attempt to make Pakistan a complete Islamic nation. Its time the World takes cognisance of such atrocities and reprimands Pakistan for its nefarious agenda and actions.