A day after the Pakistani parliamentarians downplayed the Hindu migration issue, another Hindu family coming from across the border narrated the same tale of deprivation and persecution. Accompanied by his wife and four children, Roop Mehra arrived at the Attari railway station on Thursday.
“Hindus in Pakistan are in a lot of trouble. The problem is not restricted to Sindh or Balochistan alone, it is widespread. I hail from Sialkot and we face a lot of problems there as well. The Indian government needs to step in,” said Mehra.
Mehra, incidentally, has been living in India for four years now. He had gone back to Pakistan to get his identity card renewed.
He said India must grant nationality to all those who wish to come and settle here. “Many Hindus in Pakistan want to shift. We are not even allowed to celebrate our festivals there. What we desire is some assurance from the Indian government on issues of nationality and social security. If these are granted, many more will be coming,” said Mehra.
Stressing that Hindus in Pakistan live in constant fear, Mehra said, “The reports of forced conversion are very much true. This happens much in the Jacobabad area.”
Mehra’s main source of chagrin on Thursday was the way Pakistani customs officials treated him.
“They searched each and every bag of ours, even pockets. I don’t understand why. They are creating trouble for Hindus who are making longer stays in India.”
Mehra migrated to India four years back leaving his tailoring business behind. “I had to start all over again. I run a boutique in Delhi now.”
Mehra’s two brothers are still in Pakistan and will be moving to India soon. He feels Hindus in the Punjab province were better off earlier. “The situation has worsened in the recent years.”
In the past one month or so, a lot of Hindu families have landed in India with an intention to stay back. In fact, each time the Samjhauta Express arrives, there is always a family or two, which is willing to share the tales of sorrow from across the border.