Petition Closed

Almost three-quarters of women from Pakistan's Hindu communities have faced sexual harassment while nearly half, complained of religious discrimination at workplaces, educational institutions and neighbourhoods. A report, prepared by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (Pakistan), states that about 74 per cent of the Hindu women faced sexual harassment.

Pakistan was created as an Islamic nation in 1947, and religious minorities are treated as second class citizens under the country’s Islamic laws. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of Hindus have been converted to Islam, and many more have been forced to flee the country. In 1971 alone, the Pakistani Army was blamed for the genocide of over one million of Hindus in erstwhile East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh).

Pakistan Hindu Post requests YOUR support in urging Pakistan, to urgently act to prevent further discrimination and victimization of the Hindu community, especially Hindu women. The slow and steady dissolution of the Hindu minority has to stop.

This petition is addressed to Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, US Department of State.

CC-ed to:

Ambassador Sherry Rehman, Embassy of Pakistan, Washington D.C

Judith E. Golub, Director of Government Relations, USCIRF

Ambassador Suzan D Johnson-Cook, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State; Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

## click on the second tab above, to read the entire petition letter ##

Letter to
Director of Government Relations, USCIRF Judith E. Golub
Embassy of Pakistan, Washington D.C Her Excellency, Ambassador Sherry Rehman
U.S. Department of State; Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Ambassador Suzan D Johnson-Cook
and 1 other
Secretary of State, US Department of State Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton,
Honorable Secretary of State, Ms. Clinton,

Hindus in Pakistan have been subjected to rampant human rights abuses and severe restrictions on their religious freedom since the creation of the Islamic State of Pakistan in 1947. Systematic legal and institutional discrimination, kidnappings, physical attacks and intimidation, rapes, forced conversions to Islam, and forced marriages of Hindu girls to Muslim men have vastly diminished the Hindu population from approximately 25% to 2% in the past 65 years. The recent rise in Islamic fundamentalism throughout Pakistan and the government's inability and/or unwillingness to protect Hindus has created an atmosphere of fear and insecurity, depriving Hindus of their basic right to live in the land of their forefathers.

A quintessential example is the case of Rinkel Kumari, a 17-year old Hindu girl from the town of Mirpur Mathelo who was kidnapped on February 24, 2012. Notably, the man behind Rinkel’s abduction – Mian Abdul Haq – is a Member of the National Assembly from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Her abduction by a member of the ruling PPP demonstrates the government's complicity in such kidnappings.

Furthermore, the judicial system has failed to provide justice to Rinkel or her family, and the Supreme Court has delayed a decision in her case until April 18. She has been ordered to stay in a women's shelter until then, despite her pleas to return to her parents.

The same week Rinkel was kidnapped three other Hindu girls were kidnapped, forcibly converted, and married to Muslim men, including a physician who worked at a well-known hospital in Karachi. The female physician, Dr. Lata, was forcibly married to a Muslim man who previously kidnapped and converted 4 Hindu wives. Since Rinkel was kidnapped just over a month ago dozens of other Hindu girls in Pakistan have been either kidnapped or are reported missing.

According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, a social organization in Pakistan, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, at least 25 Hindu girls are reported kidnapped and forcible converted to Islam each month in Pakistan. However, when considering the number of cases that go unreported, the actual number of Hindu girls kidnapped every month is significantly higher. This recent increase in brutality toward the Hindu community has caused thousands of Hindus to emigrate from their native land of Pakistan and flee to neighboring India in the last year alone.

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, recently wrote directly to Pakistan’s President, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, demanding justice for Rinkel Kumari. It is imperative that other U.S. Congressmen and the State Department join Congressman Sherman in exerting pressure on the Pakistani government to provide justice not only to Rinkel, but also to the other young Hindu girls who are routinely kidnapped, subjected to violent torture and intimidation, and forcefully converted to Islam. The religious liberty of these young girls and their families must be protected and their legal rights upheld by the court system without interference from Islamic fundamentalists and gangs threatening them with violence and death.

The U.S. provides billions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Pakistan every year, and must demand that the Pakistani government provide basic fundamental human rights and equal protection under the law to all their citizens.

The statistic from the last paragraph is from this site:
http://www.cgdev.org/section/initiatives/_active/pakistan/numbers

----------------------------------------------------------------------
This petition is also CC-ed to :

Ambassador Sherry Rehman, Embassy of Pakistan, Washington D.C

Judith E. Golub, Director of Government Relations, USCIRF

Ambassador Suzan D Johnson-Cook, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State; Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Sincerely,