Pakistan failed me as a Father

The following interview was conducted in Saudi Arabia on 27, March 2013. This heart wrenching interview shows the real pain of minorities in Pakistan.

“I am a Hindu, used to live in mithi, (sindh – Pakistan), probably the only town in Pakistan with Hindu majority.

It was Jan-2011, My girl was in high school and boy in college. I went to pickup my girl everyday from her tuition.

That day she didn’t turn up after her tuition was over, I went about asking her usual friends and then her tuition teacher, he said that they held a surprise test today; she completed her test early, submitted her sheet and went out. I started panicking, went about searching for her, didn’t tell my son, he had internship set in Lahore, he’d have left everything and returned

I went to the police station to file a complaint against the disappearance of my daughter. They didn’t seem too interested in filing complain, they asked me to wait for a few days, made abusive comments on my daughter that she might have fled with her lover and having pleasure with him.

I went about searching for her everywhere on highways, nearby lakes, showed her photo to every one I came across. After 4 days, I lost all hope, called my son up that night, sitting like a beggar by the road side, cried for the first time in front of my kid, like a helpless father.

He came back in 2 days time, we went to Karachi to seek help from police there, they seemed quite supportive, they asked us to go back home and that they’d do all they could to find her.

Next day while I was sitting in my balcony, analyzing my life, how I failed my wife and now my kid I saw her coming, with torn clothes about her, I knew then what had happened to her. They raped her for 5 days, made her do unusual things I cannot explain.

I decided then to leave Pakistan, applied for visa to India, but it was denied, possibly because of the tension on Pakistan-India border due to some soldier beheading case.

We went to Saudi Arabia in March. My daughter never regained her usual self and has tried committing suicide twice. If anything, pray for her well being.

I hope I never have to go back to Pakistan ever”

Being a minority is being helpless in Pakistan

“It was a regular day when I stepped out of my house to visit the temple. My name is Ravi and I am a Hindu. As taught by my parents, each day I visit my deities in the nearest temple. That day too I was on my way to Soha Temple, the most ancient one in my locality. The Soha temple used to be a corner stone of the Mohalla Soha – a suburb of Haripur. But when I reached at its location, the temple had been demolished. There was only rubble and sand left at the site. Shocked, I looked around to find my friend Hari sobbing in the corner. His father was the priest of the temple and had gone to the authorities to file the complain. After consoling him, together we waited for his father to return.

Hari’s father told us that the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) , which is responsible to protect and preserve worship places of minorities has ‘sold’ the place. The owner of the land , who wished to create a commercial complex here, had ordered to demolish the temple. Hari’s father was angry and so was I. How could they do this? Founded by Sikh Governor Hari Singh Nalva in 1822, Haripur once had around 12 to 15 Hindu temples and three gurdawaras. However, today only four or five temples remain, along with a gurdawara located in the main Haripur bazaar and now hosts a primary school. And now another temple was gone. What is the use of all those laws for protecting the minorities when at last our rights are abused by the same protectors.

Fumed by the incident, we returned home and found some officials along with a police inspector waiting at Hari’s house. They looked at us and smiled. Over a cup of tea, they ‘warned’ Hari’s father to keep quiet regarding the incident. They told him to forget about it other wise he will loose his house too. I could sense the threat in their voice. Though Hari’s father didn’t seem to be afraid. After the officials left, he pledged to fight for it. The temple was just not a mere building for him but it was his second home, his soul and duty.

Today, he has raised the matter with higher authorities and still struggling for justice. Sometimes while looking at him, I think what would have happened if it was a Mosque? Being a minority is being helpless in Pakistan. Time and again we are reminded that we don’t belong here. We are regularly tortured, either by burning our houses, demolishing our temples or by just using the blasphemy law against us. Earlier, I only read all this in the newspapers but now I know how it feels to be a minority in Pakistan.“

The Irony of Minorities

“Can’t forgot the day when a group of people burned down the old chipboard factory. They had accused one of our colleague of blasphemy. They wished to kill us and police didn’t even tried to stop them. later, they broke our Mosque.That day everything was finished for us. Our homes were destroyed, we were beaten by the violent people.It was horrible as well shocking but not surprising. Because in Pakistan we Ahmedis or any other minorities are cursed to live such life.

I’m witnessed of all these things.It was matter of personal disputes which was presented in different color. Rafiq had some personal issue with Asif (an Ahmadis),over business issue (both were running garment shop) ,he had fought with him many times. One day when we (me and Asif) are coming from market.

Rafiq along with his four friends came there and suddenly they started abusing us and our community (Ahmadis). We asked them why they were abusing but they were not ready to listen. We ignore them and move towards our house. but the were kept backing us then Asif scold Rafeeq and told him to get out.Rafiq warned Asif to teach him a lesson.

It was result of that discussion not of Blasphemy.”

– An Eyewitness