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Temple demolition: BJP leaders meet Pak HC

December 04, 2012 18:56 IST

A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on Tuesday met the Pakistan High Commissioner to India and submitted a memorandum to register their protest against the demolition of a temple in Karachi and the plight of Hindu minorities in the neighbouring country.

The delegation, comprising of MPs J P Nadda and Balbir Punj, and party leaders Murlidhar Rao, Arti Mehra and Vijay Jolly, submitted the memorandum to Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir.

"The latest case of a 200-year-old Hindu temple demolished in Bhimpura locality in the southern port city of Karachi is dreadful and painful for BJP. The Shri Rama Pir Mandir reportedly demolished and more than 40 Hindus rendered homeless is gross injustice and un-acceptable to BJP," the party said in its memorandum.

Insisting that this is a violation of fundamental rights of Hindus in Pakistan to live and worship without fear. BJP demanded suitable laws to address "Protection of Religious Minorities and their Properties" in Pakistan.

The party demanded early resolution of the Shri Rama Pir Mandir demolition issue and the immediate arrest of the culprits responsible for this incident.

Speaking to the delegation, Bashir underscored the commitment of his country to protection and promotion of the fundamental human rights of all minorities, including Hindus.

He said Pakistan has taken important steps to promote interfaith harmony as well as respect for religious beliefs, culture and traditions of the minorities, a statement from the high commission said.

BJP urged Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to protect minority groups against growing intolerance.

"The deteriorating situation of human rights of Hindus in Pakistan, they being easy targets, subject to kidnapping for ransom and violence is a matter for universal condemnation," the party memorandum said.  

"The rights of the Hindu community cannot be crushed and brushed aside in Pakistan. Their concerns have to be addressed. BJP demands that such extreme oppression of religious minorities in Pakistan should stop. The Pakistan state should act firm and punish the culprits," BJP said.

The party expressed its deep anguish and dismay over repeated reports of forced conversions of Hindu girls in Pakistan.

"There is no legal recognition for Hindu marriages. Hindus are reportedly discriminated against when it comes to government jobs or school. BJP is alarmed and shocked these tragic affairs concerning Hindus in Pakistan," BJP said.

It also charged Pakistan with failing to protect the religious rights of Hindus who constitute 1.5 per cent of that country's total population.

"Hindus are forced to convert. And Christians complain of Pakistan blasphemy laws that carry death penalty for anyone found guilty of defaming Islam. It seems that there is a 'climate of fear' for minorities in your country," the memorandum said.

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