PPP wants Sindhi Hindus to vote for them, but won’t protect them!

Published: March 25, 2014

The Larkana district, which is the hub of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), houses more than two million Sindhi Hindus. Yet they are persecuted, forced to denounce their faith and are not provided with basic facilities. DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

On March 16, 2014, while Pakistan’s Hindu community celebrated Holi, the country witnessed an unpleasant incident in Sindh’s Larkana District, where a frenzied mob turned violent following a rumour that a member of the Hindu community, Sangeet Kumar, 35 – reputed to be a drug addict – had desecrated the Holy Quran.

In Larkana, after the incident, people wanted to harm the accused man but the police and rangers, somehow, managed to take him away to a safe location. After his safe escape, however, the angry mob attacked and vandalised the Sindhi Hindus’ dharamshala (community centre) and also partially damaged a Hindu temple in the same district, to express their anger.

This district, which is the hub of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), houses more than two million Sindhi Hindus. And as compared to Pakistan’s other three provinces, Sindhi Hindus make up a great chunk of Sindh’s total population. But they, in spite of being densely populated in Sindh, are neglected by the PPP government socially, politically and economically.

As far as the attack on the temple in Larkana is concerned, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the PPP’s Patron-in-Chief, condemned it via Twitter but, unfortunately, did not come out of the Twitter world to meet and compensate the Sindhi Hindus whose shops and properties were burnt down in the incident.

Besides the Larkana incident, there are three more reasons why PPP can be held reprehensible for the Sindhi Hindus’ suffering.

First reason: Thar and the famine

Thar, where Sindhi Hindus are overwhelmingly populated, has been suffering from a grievous famine. So far, it has taken away the lives of more than 150 Sindhi Hindu children. And they could not even celebrate Holi, due to the bereavement that a large number of their children have died of malnutrition in the famine-hit-areas of Thar.

Under these circumstances, how can anyone celebrate his/her religious festivities?

Besides this incident, Thar has remained neglected for years. After the fatalities of these children, the mainstream national media unearthed the issues of Thar’s dwellers, which ranged from socio-economic problems and dysfunctional systems to lack of educational institutions, clean drinking water and low literacy rate. They have been suffering from these issues for decades now while the PPP has turned a blind eye to them.

Second reason: Destruction of the Shri Krishna Bhagwan temple in Karachi

Secondly, during PPP’s rule in 2012 – when they were holding majority seats in both the province and the centre – a furious crowd was rallying against the anti-Islam film, the Innocence of Muslims, and to vent out their anger, the mob damaged Pakistan’s sole and oldest temple, The Shri Krishna Bhagwan, in Karachi. Surprisingly, there were no security guards for the security of the temple, at such a volatile time. That is why they desecrated the temple with ease. They also plundered the valuables of the Hindus living in the vicinity of the temple. This time, too, none of the desecrators were brought to justice.

Third reason: Forced conversions of Hindu girls

Thirdly, the forced conversion cases of Hindu girls in Sindh have not yet been resolved.

Though this trend began in the 1970s, it intensified tremendously during the PPP regimes later on, where Hindu girls would routinely be picked up from anywhere in the interior Sindh and would be forced to denounce their faith and accept Islam.

One such example is that of Rinkal Kumari, who was forcibly converted in 2012 and her case was also taken up by the Supreme Court.

Similarly, her uncle, Raj Kumar, while speaking during in a seminar at the Karachi Press Club called his six-year-old Jumna on to the stage and said that she and her 10-year-old sister Pooja would have been forced to change their religion, had the media not raised their case.

Yet, these cases of forced conversions have not been taken seriously. Such cases have compelled many Sindhi Hindus to migrate to India. And many of them have left the province for other parts of the country in hopes of safer lives.

Despite the aforementioned reasons, the PPP always peels away the Hindus’ votes in Sindh. Neither the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nor the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has been able to get votes from them.  Therefore, minority voters see no other option but to vote for PPP, despite the multiple challenges they encounter.

PPP has a responsibility towards every voter and the fact that PPP has voters from the Hindu minority makes them responsible for the deplorable conditions they are in today.

Muhammad Akbar Notezai

Muhammad Akbar Notezai

A freelance journalist and researcher based in Quetta. He blogs at www.akbarnotezai.wordpress.com and tweets as @Akbar_notezai (twitter.com/Akbar_notezai)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • muzaffaralisyed

    Won’t protect Hindus ??
    They won’t protect anyone. They only protect the feudals who in return give them votes.Recommend

  • Shoaib Mirza

    Baseless. Without facts and figures.

    1. Leadership of PPP celebrated holi with hindu community. Those pictures are shared as well. Why didn’t the writer include it?

    2. The extremists elements supported by JI who blazed the Shri Krishna Bhagwan temple. Was that a PPP fault?

    3. Thar drought was first noticed by BBZ and took positive and urgent steps to provide relief to victims even visited to Thar. Not a single penny received from Federation whereas PM NS announced 1 Billion for Thar victims only Sindh govt on the field and working for Tharis.

    4. 1970s ref of force conversion is laughable to me. Moreover, No one can stop one to choose and decide about their religion.Recommend

  • Toll

    mera naam bilawal buttow zardari hein, aur sirf mein hi hinduon ko protect karoonga! Awr Rowti Kapra Makaan bhi aapko milenga (BBZ urdu accent)

    Bilawal and the PPP are incompetent, just like most other politicians, total dramay baaz. Can’t actually accomplish anything, just bickering back and forth.Recommend

  • Lateef Mughal

    PPP is secular party and has always been protecting rights of minorities specially Hindu community, as they are loyal supporters of PPPP and have firm faith in its leadership….however the incident of Larkana temple was a pre-planned action, by those who want to create disturbance in the routine life of people. It is a conspiracy against PPPP patron in chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as he is against religious extremist talibans, and terrorism as he has taken bold stand against them. Therefore the incident of Larkana during the Holi Festival is a conspiracy against Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PPPP. On this mishap Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said, “Attack on temple of Larkana is similar attacking Garhi Khuda Buksh”.Recommend

  • Lateef Mughal

    PPP is secular party and has always been protecting rights of minorities specially Hindu community, as they are loyal supporters of PPPP and have firm faith in its leadership….however the incident of Larkana temple was a pre-planned action, by those who want to create disturbance in the routine life of people. It is a conspiracy against PPPP patron in chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as he is against religious extremist talibans, and terrorism as he has taken bold stand against them. Therefore the incident of Larkana during the Holi Festival is a conspiracy against Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PPPP. On this mishap Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said, “Attack on temple of Larkana is similar attacking Garhi Khuda Buksh….”.Recommend

  • tayyab

    hindus has always been victim of such onslaught and the masses bearing the shape of hollow and pipe faith exaggerate the scenario ,,,,,,,,,, if something happen court is made to deal with such mattersRecommend

  • Sukkhur wala

    Little Baby Bhutto was very likely lolling around at the family
    chateau near Paris. Or hobnobbing in Dubai with Papa, at the
    villa. He only flies in, if there is TV face time involved.Recommend

  • Abi

    There are still Hindus living in Pakistan ?Recommend

  • KB

    Sindh govt. is the biggest enemy of the federation ..period.Recommend

  • Munawar Khan

    All the minorities must be protected under the flag of this country. As the founder of Pakistan had asserted on this point that in Pakistan all the people regardless of their creed, religion, color and ethnicity will be equally treated and granted.Recommend

  • John

    If PPP is a secular party,who declared Ahmedis non Muslims,acting like God on earth?couldn’t even nab or hang the murderers of Shahbaz Bhatti and call themselves secular.Recommend

  • thinktank

    oh please the only thing pp is liberal in is corruptionRecommend

  • Muhammad Bilal

    PPP always think that they can hold Sindh by feudal’s so no need for any positive work. They are not only treating Hindus like this every poor Sindhi in interior sindh is suffering from this.Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal

    Sir,

    1- Talk about poor Hindus in Sindh. Just by sharing pics of holi celebration in Sindh will not useful for poor Hindus.

    2- Who is ruling Sindh since last 6th years , If extremist supported by JI where is Police. Who will provide security.

    3- There are reports from WHO, but no one cares since it started and PPP blamed mismanagement in distribution . Who’s responsibleRecommend

  • Pervez

    Why do you shout about Hindus. I really am confused by these liberal folks. You care more about minorities You are weakening Islam in this country. Think before you speak.Recommend

  • vavekg

    Still
    there is list of Hindu targeted atrocities……digging-out Hindu dead bodies
    from graveyards and throwing out away by local Muslims, blasphemy cases
    again hindus in Sindh and lodging FIR against hindus in Sindh……………, kidnapping
    for ransom of hindus……………..baitulmal chief rejected supported officially
    supporting Hindu victim of Thar dought said it is against shariat-law……and many
    more other hindu targeted chain of issues in Sindh…..indeed PPP could be blamed
    for this all at least at the extent in which it is having a power in the
    province.- may be ppp not doing the things intentionally but its silence is
    enough to blame it for all……………though it needs to understand the anti-hindu
    roits/sentiments begin from north-west Sindh proceeding towards south-east
    corner (very peaceful and harmonious Thar) bordering Gujrat and Rajasthan of
    India…………where on the other side of this new-gate way (remained tale so far)
    there are national election preparations at peak…….Modi wave is widespread
    across India…may be very much annoying for fundamentalist actors functioning in
    Pakistan……The densely hindu population soth-east border of Pakistan though
    keeps good sentiments for India so far and may be at extent a safe and peaceful
    border………but with abrupt and overnight emerged drought by very-high authorities
    altogether in Pakistan is visibly in name of supporting Hindu masses staying in
    majority in Tharparkar, but coincidently this had also provided rang e of
    opportunities to radical religious outfits of Pakistan including Jamaet-ul-dawa
    reaching Thar with lot of dole and duty to perform for new future strategy…let us
    see how it proceeds in days to come……..Recommend

  • Kotri wala

    PPP is a party of waderas and feudal landlords. The little minnions don’t count.
    At election times they are paid to cast their vote OR ELSE!
    Baby Bhutto mostly lolls around in France or DubaiRecommend

  • hateterrorists

    this islam who cannot live peacefully with nonmuslims, their lives are in danger in such stone age follower countries.
    MODI should do something to accept all Hindus from pakistan, congress never do such to get votabankRecommend

  • Reddy

    So Islam is built up on how you hurt other religions? You people seriously need to grow up!Recommend

  • Anwaar

    liberal or islamist … right wing or left wing …. who the hell cares ?…. justice and equality dont ask for whether you are secular or non secular …. you cannot hide your incompetence and corruption behind the banner of secularism or liberalism or so called nationalism….
    Recommend

  • Jahil hamid

    That’s why minorities down from 20% in 1948 to 2% in 2014.Recommend

  • Malaika Harris

    In the ’70s, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto banned alcohol and declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslim. During the ’90s, Benazir Bhutto’s administration gave millions in aid to the Afghan Taliban. And just a few years ago, when Salman Taseer was murdered, the party made a point of distancing itself from the man’s legacy, in order to stay politically relevant. Very secular. See, Mr. Mughal, the problem is that your party line distortion of the historical record will only work within your tiny circle of Bhutto family sycophants… the rest of Pakistan, however, knows that you are a part of the problem.Recommend

  • Shiva

    You forget that you were once Hindus yourselves who were raped by your slave masters & are now just following the cult of terror & murder onlyRecommend