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It is a gospel truth that people ignore the basic rights or even existence of minority groups in Pakistan. People are sorted into majority and minority groups based on religion, which is a purely unjustified classification.
There are people that try to fight this kind of discrimination. However, after joining provincial assemblies or the parliament, these people too forget the rights of the minorities.
In Sindh, there is a demand for Hindus to gain more control within the caretaker setup because they outnumber the Christian population. The justification is that the Christian community is given more rights in Punjab because of their population. On the other hand, the situation in Balochistan is very different because the Baloch do not have such discrimination, as we have seen in other provinces of the country.
Before the partition, the discrimination seen in the subcontinent was not based on religion. Indian historian, philosopher, and economist Dr Amartya Sen thinks that dividing people in majority or minority is actually a mindset. The idea of dividing people on religious grounds never existed before partition. She quoted the example of Muslim emperors, who remained in power in Hindustan for years, even though they were a part of the minority.
On the local level, nobody sees the Hindus of Sindh as a minority. Sindh’s entire population considers itself equal. Our Hindu brothers consider themselves to be a part of this land and have a clear mindset that they do not belong to a minority group, but there still exists a class that can only be called opportunists.
In the new setup of Sindh’s caretaker cabinet, one can oppose the inclusion of a Christian minister but the caretaker cabinet, only established for 60 days, cannot deliver much in comparison.


The Christian community has a population of about 300,000, whereas the Hindus have the population around four million. According to the 2017 census, if you consider the total population of the country, then the Hindu population is 1.60 per cent.
However, in Sindh, Hindus count for 6.51 per cent, while in other provinces the ratio remains under one per cent. In Sindh, a majority of the Hindu population is found in the Tharparkar region, whereas Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Jacobabad and Ghotki districts also have a significant number of Hindus.
The Pakistan Hindu Council notifies that in Pakistan, the Hindu population is around eight million and the majority of that population lives in Sindh. If the Hindu-Muslim cataloguing on the basis of religion in Sindh is measured erroneously then the minority quota will be rooted out which exists in assemblies, particularly. If the quota would be rooted out, then will Hindus or other religious entities be a part of our assemblies?
In the past, within unified Hindustan, there was also a separate employment quota fixed for underprivileged Muslims and indigenous Hindu castes so that they could also enjoy the same opportunities afforded to well-established castes. The Urdu speaking population used to accept the quota system, but today the so-called leaders of the Urdu speaking community of the country are raising this point and making it a part of their election campaign.
The problem can be fixed with some government effort. In this regard, the Indian election system can be taken as a model. In almost every country of the world, for a contestant, it is obligatory to contest the election on the general seat and the one receiving the highest numbers of votes becomes the winner.
We not only need to get rid of this iniquitous system of classifying the minority or majority on the basis of religion but also need to dispose of the rigid mindset of people who add to the problem that discrimination presents in Pakistan, especially on the basis of religion.
The ones who believe that Pakistan is a religious state should go through the fundamental ideology of the country’s founder. If we want to survive in this world, we should not make democracy a slave to religion.

Written By: M Abbas Khaskheli
The writer is a freelance columnist and he can be reached at abbaskhaskheli110@gmail.com
Courtesy: Daily Times (July 10th, 2018)

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