LAHORE – More than 100 Hindus pilgrims crossed into India on Saturday through the Wagha border after the Interior Ministry directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to allow them entry following verification of their travel documents.
FIA immigration authorities stopped 242 Hindu pilgrims from travelling to India via the Wagha border on Friday, though they allowed the same to two families that had obtained permission from the Interior Ministry.
On August 7, the kidnapping of a teenage Hindu girl, Manisha Kumari, from Jacobabad in Sindh raised concern among the minority community amid reports of migration of about 250 Hindus from the region. However, many of the Hindus told the media at the railway station that they had no intention of migrating and that they planned to return to Pakistan after a pilgrimage.
On Friday, some families were allowed to go into India after protest at the Wagha border. An immigration officer said on condition of anonymity that the agency had no plan to stop these people and they were stopped only for security clearance.
Rejecting migration rumours, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said a group, representing all Hindu citizens, told the government that the Hindu families would return after visiting religious sites in India.
“The visiting citizens will not apply for political asylum in India,” said the minister, adding that the government would provide complete security to minorities and the agents involved in providing political asylum to minorities would be dealt under the law.
He maintained that the Hindu families with complete travelling documents and valid visa were allowed to proceed to India. Malik termed the migration of Hindu families from Jacobabad a conspiracy against Pakistan. The minister said the government was determined to provide complete security to minorities.
Meanwhile,  the PTI leadership, while paying rich tributes to the services of the minorities in Pakistan, has reiterated its resolve to provide equal rights and opportunities to all the people living in the country.
PTI Central Spokesman Shafqat Mehmood said in a message on the occasion of Minority Day on Saturday said that the PTI strongly believed in ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ and it would adopt all possible measures to safeguard the interests of the minorities if voted to power.