Christians Among Minorities Facing Increased Persecution in Pakistan, Say Indian Politicians

The Indian government is being asked by members of the country's Lok Sobha (or House of the People) to summon its envoy from Pakistan after repeated reports of persecution against Christian and Hindu minorities in the Islamic country.

Concerns were raised on Monday by members of the Lok Sobha after 150 Hindus, who had crossed over to India from Pakistan, had claimed to have been harassed by Muslims in the Sindh province.

Christian and Hindu minorities in the region are reported to have suffered forced conversions, as well as having their homes repeatedly ransacked. Other accusations have highlighted that young girls from Hindu and Christian backgrounds have allegedly been forced into marriage by radical Muslims. Despite the continued harassment of minority groups Pakistani authorities are accused of remaining "either non-existent or mute spectators."

Singh Yadav, the Socialist Party leader in India, has demanded that the Indian parliament make sure there is no repetition of such persecution, and insisted that it was not just a religious issue but a humanitarian one as well, The Daily Bhaskar said.

Yadav also urged that persecuted people coming into India should be allowed to stay rather than be returned to Pakistan where they would likely be targeted again.

A number of other party leaders, including the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Biju Janata Dal Party, also urged the government to adapt a resolution condemning the persecution attacks. The leaders have said that a growing number of religious minorities were feeling increasingly insecure in Pakistan.

BJP leader Rajnath Singh highlighted the plight of another 20 Hindu and Sikh families who recently fled to India. They are hoping to avoid being sent back to Pakistan and are pushing to obtain citizenship in India. He also shared of 250 pilgrims who have apparently been threatened by Pakistani authorities not to say anything negative about their treatment in the country while on their journey.

Singh also pointed to a TV program that showed Hindu youths being kidnapped and converted to Islam in Pakistan. He revealed that leaders of the community there had written to Indian High Commission and the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad asking for help.

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