In the wake of steadily growing religion based intolerance, discrimination and persecution approximately 800 Pakistani Hindus have left Pakistan seeking safe haven in India. An advocacy group Seemant Lok Sangathan (SLS), that advocates for the rights of Pakistani religious minorities has claimed that last year the said number of Hindus migrated from Pakistan to India.
However, these migrants have not been met with great success in acquiring Indian citizenship as many of them went home after finding no progress in their citizenship application. Their return is deemed as an embarrassment to India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Back in 2018, an online citizenship application process was initiated and in this regard, 16 collectors in seven states were made available to collect online applications from Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jain and Buddhists from three countries Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
At least there are still 25,000 Pakistani Hindus in India’s Rajhastan state alone who are awaiting citizenship. Some of these applicants have waited more than two decades now. In 2015, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs made amendment to the citizenship rules therefore legalizing the stay of foreign migrants from six communities. The condition being if they had entered India due to religion based persecution and on or before December 2014. Such cases were exempted from provisions of the Passport Act and the Foreigners Act as their passports had expired.
According to official reports, Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. In this regard, to official estimates, portray a sum of 7.5 Million Hindus as living in Pakistan. Majority of Hindus are nestled in Pakistan’s Sindh province. However, the Hindu community has been periodically targeted and sporadic cases of abduction of Hindu girls, forced into marriages with Muslims, forced conversions, rape of girls and even murder have been reported. These factors compel them to migrate to India.