Pakistan supporting, financing religious extremism in Sindh: Lakhu Luhana

London, April 5 (ANI): Secretary General of World Sindhi Congress Lakhu Luhana has blamed Pakistan for supporting and financing religious extremism in Sindh, which has been in the news for targeted killings and sectarian violence.

Describing Pakistan as a country based on religious philosophy, Luhana said: “In recent years, they have been funding lot of madrasas and spending billions. They want to counter the nationalist philosophy, which inheritably is a secular philosophy. To counter that, they have to bring in another philosophy, which is religious philosophy. So, they have been patronizing, sponsoring, supporting and financing religious extremism in Sindh.”

With people from other provinces of Pakistan making a beeline for Sindh, the crime graph in the province is on the rise.

As per the Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP), the year 2012 recorded 104 cases of sectarian killings, a 352 per cent rise from the year 2011.

In an interview given to ANI, Luhana said: “These forces want to control Karachi by replacing indigenous people. So, they used all the contradictions, including religious extremism, to fulfill their aims”.

He added: “It is a very dangerous situation, but Sindhi people have never participated in that and have always condemned that. And (Mahatma) Gandhi once said that in the whole (Indian) subcontinent, probably Sindhis are the most secular people. But the speed with which the Pakistani state has been working to support religious extremism, that is really a frightening situation.”

Luhana believes that the rising violence in Sindh, especially Karachi, is happening with the consent of the Pakistani military, the Rangers and the intelligence agencies.

“Currently, they probably want to create a situation because elections are nearing, and one of the theories is, that they don’t want these elections. This always happens. In 1976, during (Zulfiqar Ali) Bhutto’s tenure, there were lots of riots, issues and killings and, they made that a pretext to come to power,” he said.

The World Sindhi Congress has condemned the attacks on minorities, especially on Hindus, and forced religious conversion of Hindus in Sindh.

Luhana mentioned the case of Rinkal Kumari, a Hindu girl abducted with the help of a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmaker last year, and forced to marry one Naveed Shah and convert to Islam.

“It’s very sentimental issue when young daughters are being abducted and forcibly converted. In literal term they are subjecting these girls to sexual slavery. It’s really very bad situation,” said Luhana, and added that this is creating a situation for harassment and helplessness for Hindus to migrate from Pakistan.

The World Sindhi Congress has raised issues concerning Sindhi people with human rights organisations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to seek justice. However, Pakistan continues to violate human rights.

“Pakistan is a state which doesn’t care, doesn’t want to listen, and that is our next question is that all these atrocities have been well documented. Hillary Clinton (former U.S. Secretary of State) spoke about the violence against Hindu women in Sindh. But, Pakistan simply doesn’t want to listen. That is why we request the international community that this is not enough and you have to think about a strategy to save lives in Sindh,” Luhana said.

In concluding, he said: “The World Sindhi Congress’s view is to support all human rights, including our right to self determination. Therefore, we work for that and, we believe in it”.By Ravi Khandelwal(ANI)



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