Thursday July 18, 2024

A week of lessons

By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
March 29, 2019

Here are my views on three important events that took place last week. First, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, in response to the horrific terror attacks in Christchurch, succeeded to emerge as an ideal ruler for the protection of the rights of minority communities. Her positive attitude is indeed helping win the hearts of peace-loving people across the globe.

Second, the visionary speech of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad which he delivered on the occasion of Pakistan Day. He emphasised on the importance of peaceful relations with other countries. According to him, following Japan and South Korea, his focus is on strengthening bilateral trade relations. He believes in avoiding interference in the internal matters of other countries (there is no official enemy state declared by Malaysia). The way all ethnic and religious communities are allowed to play a pivotal role in the progress of Malaysia is really remarkable.

Third, the Pakistani-Hindu community, to demonstrate their eternal love to Pakistan, also set an excellent example of promoting interfaith harmony and national unity by associating the Holi festival with Pakistan Day. However, it is quite unfortunate that on Holi, two innocent Hindu sisters were abducted for the purpose of forced conversions and forced marriages. According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, another Hindu girl has also been kidnapped from Tando Yousaf. All three girls are teenagers.

New Zealand is regarded among the top most peaceful and prosperous nations in the world. The tragic terror attack had shaken the world and also proved that terrorism has no religion. Leaders like Jacinda Ardern are truly a blessing for humanity; they have the courage to stand with the victims and their families, while keeping aside all prejudices and differences.

During the ceremony of Holi, I also emphasised that festivals like Holi teach us that ultimate victory is always of the truth. Now, every sensible person can testify that the terrorist’s evil plan has failed and all the citizens of New Zealand are united to curb hate crimes.

The minorities of Pakistan are still are under threat by some extremist elements. The grave issues of abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages of vulnerable minor Hindu girls are most alarming. Such painful incidents are not only increasing the insecurities of our patriotic minority community but also bringing a bad name to the entire country.

In this regard, some controversial religious figures like the pir of Bharchunoodi, Mian Mithu (formerly from the PPP) and Pir Ayub Jan Sirhindi are behind such social evils. That is why I have tabled a resolution in the National Assembly to deal with all such elements who are preaching hatred under the cover of religion. We must ask these so-called preachers that why are no adult men or mature women getting inspired by their preaching?

The abduction of minor girls and their forced conversions are very painful. Being patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, I stand with the poor victims. As a result, a petition was filed in the Islamabad High Court against me and the poor father of the girls under pressure of the alleged kidnappers. I have already issued a video message in this regard that I will fight on legal front for the sake of justice and truth.

Today, we all need to feel the pain of these oppressed Hindu parents. It is time to learn lessons from the past week. If the prime minister of a secular country like New Zealand can visit a mosque to condole with minorities and ask her country’s media to live broadcast the Azaan, then why are citizens of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan hesitant to show sympathy with non-Muslim minorities of their own country?

Now enough is enough. All parliamentarians are requested to pass my bills unanimously, so we can end forced conversions and child marriages. The entire world is now looking towards the parliament of Pakistan to see who is sincere in fulfilling the vision of Quaid-e-Azam. Opposing my bills will also expose all of those who are exploiting the religious sentiments of innocent people.

The writer is a member of the NationalAssembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

Twitter: @RVankwani