Karachi, Jul 17 (PTI) A prominent Pakistani human rights activist has voiced concern over targeting of Hindus in the Sindh province in response to Seema Haider Jakhrani's incident and urged the government to take punitive action against those attacking Hindu temples.
Shiva Kacchi, who heads the Pakistan Derawar Ittehad organisation which fights for minorities in Pakistan, said the attack on a temple in Ghouspur in Kashmore on Sunday appeared to be the beginning of an ordeal for Pakistani Hindus in Sindh.
A gang of dacoits attacked a Hindu temple with rocket launchers in the Kashmore area of the Sindh province on Sunday.
The attack came days after dacoits in the Kashmore and Ghotki riverine areas had threatened to attack Hindu places of worship and community members in retaliation to Seema's love affair.
Seema, a 30-year Pakistani mother of four, left her country and entered India to live with a Hindu man she befriended and fell in love with while playing on the online gaming platform PUBG in 2019.
She and Sachin Meena, 22, live in the Rabupura area of Greater Noida, near Delhi, where he runs a provision store, according to Uttar Pradesh Police.
While Seema was arrested on July 4 for illegally entering India without a visa via Nepal with her four children, all aged below seven years, Sachin was put behind bars for sheltering the illegal immigrants.
“Every day, dacoits who hide in the riverine areas are doing live videos threatening to kill and kidnap Hindus, torture their women and attack their worship places and homes in retaliation for Seema Jakhrani case,” Kacchi said.
“What Seema Jakhrani did is wrong, but what have Hindus got to do with it? She was a Muslim woman who took a personal decision. Why do Hindus have to be targeted in Sindh?” he asked.
Kacchi said for months Hindus had been drawing the attention of the government and authorities to rising cases of Hindu girls being abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and being married to older Muslim men.
“Now, what Seema Jakhrani has done has hurt the sentiments of every Pakistani Muslim and we also believe she is wrong but what about our women and girls,” he said.
Luckily, there were no casualties in the attack on the temple in Ghouspur as the two rockets fired by the dacoits did not explode properly, he said.
“But they resorted to heavy firing and ran away into the riverine area," he said.
Kacchi said unless the government took punitive action against the dacoits, they would continue to attack Hindus and their places of worship.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said it was alarmed by reports of “deteriorating law and order in the districts of Kashmore and Ghotki in Sindh, where some 30 members of the Hindu community — including women and children — have allegedly been held hostage by organised criminal gangs”.
“Moreover, we have received disturbing reports that these gangs have threatened to attack the community’s sites of worship, using high-grade weapons,” the Dawn newspaper quoted the commission as saying on Sunday.
It called on the Sindh Home Department to investigate the matter without delay, the report said.
Karachi is home to many ancient Hindu temples. Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan.
The majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with Muslim residents.