- The last census was done in Pakistan in 1998, according to which the Hindu population there is 1.6%
- There was a Hindu temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there now sweet shop, made Shiv temple a school
- About 3% of the voters in Pakistan are non-Muslims, the maximum 14.98 lakh Hindu voters among them
Jul 11, 2020, 07:45 AM IS
new Delhi. “I do not agree that religion is a personal matter of a person nor do I agree that in an Islamic state a person should get equal rights, irrespective of their religion, caste or belief.”
This was said by the second Prime Minister of Pakistan, Khwaja Nazimuddin. Najimuddin was one of the companions of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who stood firm on the demand for an Islamic state. They can only be understood from this that what was the condition of the minorities in Pakistan at that time and what will happen now?
This is mentioned because only last month, the Imran government of Pakistan gave approval to build a Krishna temple in the capital Islamabad. This would have been the first temple in Islamabad. For this, the government also gave 10 crores rupees.
However, the wall of this temple, which is going to be built in 20 thousand square feet, was being built that the fundamentalists broke it. Not only this, two days before the wall collapsed, the government came under pressure from the fundamentalists and stopped the construction of the temple.
According to the 1951 census, 72.26 lakh Muslims migrated to Pakistan. These Muslims went to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan. Whereas, 72.49 lakh Hindu-Sikhs had returned to India from Pakistan.
Forced conversion of more than thousand girls every year in Pakistan
Non-Muslim girls are forcibly abducted in Pakistan. They are converted. After that, they are forcibly married to a Muslim.
According to the data of United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, more than 1 thousand girls are converted in Pakistan every year. They are converted to Islam. They are kidnapped. They are raped and then forcibly married. Most of them are Hindu and Christian girls.
Different figures regarding Hindu population in Pakistan
What is the Hindu population in Pakistan? There are different figures regarding this as well. The last census in 1998 was in Pakistan. Even in 2017, the population data has not yet been released according to religion.
According to data from Pakistan’s Statics Bureau, in 1998 there was a total population of 13.23 crore. Of that, 1.6% was 21.11 lakh Hindu population. In 1998, 96.3% of the population of Pakistan was Muslim and 3.7% of the population was non-Muslim. Whereas, in 2017, the population of Pakistan has exceeded 20.77 crores.
Whereas, in a reply given in the Lok Sabha in March 2017, it was stated by the Central Government that according to the 1998 census, the Hindu population in Pakistan is 1.6% i.e. around 30 lakhs.
But, the Pakistan Hindu Council says that there is over 80 lakh Hindu population, which is about 4% of the total population of Pakistan. According to this, the maximum 94% Hindu population lives in Sindh province of Pakistan.
At the time of partition there were 428 temples, out of which 408 became shops or restaurants.
A survey of the All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement had revealed that at the time of partition in 1947 there were 428 temples in Pakistan. However, after the decade of 1990, 408 of these temples have opened toy shops, restaurants, hotels, offices, government schools or madrasas.
According to this survey, 1.35 lakh acres of land belonging to the places of worship of minorities were leased by the Government of Pakistan to the Evacuee Property Trust Board. The job of this trust is to capture the land of the displaced. That is, people who lived here before but later moved to another place.
There was Kali Bari temple in Pakistan, it was bought by Dara Ismail Khan and converted into Taj Mahal Hotel. There was a Hindu temple in Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, now there is a sweet shop. There was a Shiva temple in Kohat, which has now become a government school.
Rawalpindi also had a Hindu temple, which was first demolished, later a community center was built there. In Chakwal too, 10 temples were demolished and made into commercial complex.
Shops were opened not only by Hindus but also by breaking religious sites of Sikhs. For example, in Abbottabad, the Sikh Gurdwara was broken and a clothes shop was opened there.
According to a recent survey by the Government of Pakistan, in 2019, 11 temples in Sindh, 4 in Punjab, 3 in Balochistan and 2 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are in working condition.
Imran government is renovating 400 temples
It was only after partition that temples of Hindus in Pakistan began to be targeted. However, after the demolition of the Babri Masjid structure in Ayodhya in 1992, more than 100 temples in Pakistan were either demolished or damaged.
In April last year, Pakistan’s Imran government decided to reopen 400 temples. Funds are also being provided by the government for this.
In October last year, more than 1 thousand years old Shivala Teja Temple was reopened in Sialkot, Pakistan. This temple was closed since independence and after 1992 it was also heavily damaged. More than 50 lakh rupees were spent on renovation of this temple.
Nearly 3% of non-Muslim voters in Pakistan
Non-Muslim population in Pakistan also affects the politics there. According to Pakistan Election Commission data, there are more than 10.59 crore voters. Of these, 29.97 lakh voters belong to the minority community. That is, about 3% of the total voters of Pakistan are non-Muslim.
The number of non-Muslim voters there has also increased by more than 2 lakh in 2017 as compared to 2013. In 2013 there were 27.7 lakh voters.
In this too, Hindu voters are the highest. As of 2017, figures show that over 14.98 lakh voters in Pakistan were Hindus. After that, over 13.25 lakh voters were Christians.