Electronic media yesterday aired reports of a 17 year old Pakistani girl, from the Hindu community, abducted amid fears of forced conversion. A resident of Jacobabad, the kidnapping victim focused attention on the sizeable Hindu community resident in the town. A mass exodus of Pakistani Hindus to India was reported, which has been been occurring now over the last few months, after harrasment and violence directed specifically against the minority community escalated at the hands of the local land-grabbing mafia. Meanwhile, at Wagah border, 250 Pakistani Hindus were stopped from crossing over to the Indian side for religious pilgrimage, despite having all necessary visaas, but no “NOC”, as stated by the Ministry of the Interior.

Mr Rehman Malik added to the confusion, presenting an all-blanketing conspiracy theory, which entailed an effort to malign Pakistan by the issuance of 250 Indian visas and the intentional cruelty and directed efforts to intimidate Pakistani minorities. Most importantly, Mr Malik stated that Pakistani minorities required some sort of special certification in order to be able to travel abroad anywhere. While Mr Malik’s gripe that the Indian High Commission seemed to have been uncharacteristically hasty and generous in stamping visas, in the aftermath of the land-grabbing mafias targeting of the Hindu community in Jacobabad is understandable - his extraordinary and incredibly alarming statement that any Pakistani required special permission from the Ministry of Interior for travelling abroad, if they belonged to a minority religion is absolutely incomprehensible and makes a mockery of the rights of Pakistanis under the Constitution, not to mention the unity of the Pakistani nation. Three separate issues need to be discussed. One, that the criminal targeting of the Pakistani Hindu community in Jacobabad, where financial interests drive the efforts to harrass and intimidate Pakistani Hindus must be immediately and permanently stopped. Second, that the Interior Minister must clarify at once his incomprehensible statement that any Pakistani requires a special NOC to travel abroad based only on which religion they may or may not belong to. And thirdly that, as the President has directed, any efforts to embarrass Pakistan as a country which is unable to protect and ensure the safety of its minorities rights, must be soundly defeated.