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Minorities At Risk Project: Home    

Chronology for Hindus in Pakistan

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Date(s) Item
Nov 1990 Security forces moved to protect Hindu temples in Pakistan as thousands of Muslims protested against attacks on Muslims in India. The actions in northern India followed attempts by Hindus to raze the centuries-old Babri Masjid (mosque). Anti-Hindu protests were staged outside temples in cities and towns of southern Pakistan where most of the Pakistani Hindus live. According to the latest reports, one Hindu man was killed and four temples were damaged by Muslim demonstrators.
Dec 1992 Muslims attacked temples across Pakistan and the government of this overwhelmingly Muslim nation closed offices and schools for one day to protest the destruction of the Babri mosque in India. Marchers shouted slogans such as "Crush India!" and "Death to Hinduism". In Lahore, the capital of Punjab, Muslims used a bulldozer, hammers, and their bare hands to demolish the Jain temple near Punjab University. Police forces did not intervene, nor did they act when a crowd stormed the Air-India office, dragged furniture into the street, and set the office on fire (The New York Times, 12/08/92). Hundreds of members of India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party marched on the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi to protest attacks against Hindus in Pakistan. At least 24 people have been killed in Pakistan and at least 100 temples were attacked by the Muslims (The Dallas Morning News, 12/15/92). Hindus in Pakistan assert that they are regularly accused of being "Indian agents". The intolerance of Pakistani fundamentalists has reportedly grown so strong that some members of religious minorities have begun to adopt Muslim names (The Toronto Star, 12/04/92).
Jan 1993 A comparison between the human rights records of India and Pakistan in 1992, which was released by the US State Department, reveals that if human rights were considered to be abused in India, then the situation in Pakistan could only be described as "appalling", with human rights "brutalized" on a systematic basis. The State Department accused Pakistan of persecuting minority Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis. Hindus asserted that they are subject to kidnappings, the forced conversions of young women, and the desecration of Hindu shrines. They also state that they are not permitted to freely practice their religion (The Ethnic Newswatch, 01/29/93).
Sep 1993 The cabinet of caretaker Prime Minister M. Qureshi has established a Commission on Minorities to look into the grievances of the country's minority communities and to ensure that their shrines, temples and other places of worship are preserved and well-kept. The Commission will consist of official and non-official members. Official members include the Minister in-charge of Minority Affairs and the secretaries of the Ministries of Interior, Education, Law and Parliamentary Affairs.
May 1994 The number of religious minorities charged under Pakistan's restrictive blasphemy law continues to mount. Since 1986, when the law was established, 107 Ahmadis have been charged with blasphemy. The blasphemy law allows a person to register a case against anyone for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad by word or deed. In 1992, the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made the death penalty mandatory for blasphemy; in 1993 the law was extended to include the names of the Prophet's family. After months of criticism from local and international human rights groups, Benazir Bhutto has promised to introduce two amendments to the law. The first amendment would ensure that the police register a case only after they are directed to do so by a court of law. The second amendment stipulates a ten year jail term for giving false information. These amendments are supposed to stop the flagrant use of the blasphemy law in order to fulfill personal vendettas. (Far Eastern Economic Review, 05/26/94).
Feb 1995 Although Benazir Bhutto's government had promised last year to introduce amendments to the country's blasphemy law, these amendments have still not gone into effect. In a wave of persecution of non-Muslims, all cremation grounds outside of Sind were closed, preventing Hindus from making funerary arrangements. (London Independent 2/19/95)
Mar 1995 Alleged Hindu infiltrators shot and killed two American diplomats in Karachi. (Japan Economic Newswire 3/8/95)
Feb 1996 Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto approved a parliamentary motion which would allow minorities to have "two votes" - one for the reserved minority seat which they have always had and one for the general parliamentary seat. (Agence France Presse 2/27/96)
Sep 1997 Hundreds of mostly Hindu peasants, waving placards and banners and calling for the release of jailed friends and relatives, protested in Karachi against forced labor in southern Pakistan's Sindh province. Human rights activist Shakeel Pathan said about 4,300 poverty-stricken peasants were languishing in the jails run by influential Sindhi landlords. (Agence France Presse 9/8/97)
Mar 1998 One person was killed and another injured when a paramilitary soldier opened fire on a group of Hindus protesting the national census, in the locality of Jumma Goth in Karachiís eastern Landi district. Trouble erupted when enumerators carrying out a national census demanded money from the mostly illiterate community for filling in census forms. The officials had earlier rejected forms completed with the help of others. (Agence France Presse 3/7/98)
Aug 1998 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif proposed a constitutional amendment to make the Koran the supreme law of Pakistan. Deputies from minority communities including Hindus declined to support the measure. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 9/4/98)
Jun 1999 Pakistan's Minister of Islamic Affairs, Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, announced plans to bring websites that are insulting to Islam to the attention of the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference. He noted the existence of at least 125 such websites and mentioned that Hindu parties were connected with them. (Malaysian National News Agency 6/22/99)
Aug 1999 Hundreds of Pakistani Christians as well as Hindus, Parsis and Sikhs staged a rally in Lahore to demand the repeal of laws they said discriminate against non-Moslem minorities in the country. (Agence France Presse 8/11/99)
Oct 1999 The Pakistani Army staged a bloodless coup, removing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and placing Gen. Pervez Musharraf in charge of the country.
Jan 26, 2004 Security forces detained and tortured a Hindu man. (US Department of State. 2006. "International Religious Freedom Report: Pakistan." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.)
Jul 2004 Twenty-six Hindus were evicted from their land after the government designated it to be for Muslims. (US Department of State. 2006. "International Religious Freedom Report: Pakistan." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.)
Jun 29, 2005 After a Christian was arrested on charges of burning pages of a Qu'ran, 300-500 protesters took to the streets, burning houses of Hindus and Christians, including destroying a Hindu Temple. (US Department of State. 2006. "International Religious Freedom Report: Pakistan." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.)
Sep 2, 2005 Police arrested a Hindu couple after neighbors charged that they had mistreated the Qu'ran by throwing it into a field. (US Department of State. 2006. "International Religious Freedom Report: Pakistan." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.)
Oct 18, 2005 Three Hindu teenage girls were taken from their home and forcibly converted to Islam. (US Department of State. 2006. "International Religious Freedom Report: Pakistan." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.)


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Information current as of July 16, 2010