• Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fact-Checking Farahnaz Ispahani's Claims in "Purifying the Land of the Pure"

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by RiazHaq, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. RiazHaq

    RiazHaq SENIOR MEMBER

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    http://www.riazhaq.com/2017/07/fact-checking-farahnaz-ispahanis-claims.html

    In "Purifying the Land of the Pure", the author Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani, the wife of Mr. Husain Haqqani who served as Pakistan's Ambassador in Washington from 2008 to 2011, asserts that "by 1949, the non-Muslim population of Pakistan had been significantly diluted.....the percentage of Muslims in the areas constituting Pakistan rose from 77% in 1941 to 83% in 1949".

    In other words, the population of minorities, mostly Hindus, was 17% in 1949 in Pakistan. This included both east and west Pakistan. Let's examine what has happened to the minority population in Pakistan since 1971 when East Pakistan split off to form Bangladesh. More specifically, let's focus on the Hindu population that constitutes overwhelming majority of religious minorities population.

    Hindu population of the areas that now constitute post-1971 Pakistan was 15% in 1931 India Census. It declined to 14% in 1941. Then first Pakistan Census in 1951 showed it was 1.3% after the massive cross-border migration of both Hindus and Muslims in 1947. During the partition, 4.7 million Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India from what became Pakistan, while over 8 million Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan. Since 1951, the Hindu population of what is now Pakistan has grown from 1.3% to 1.9% now.

    Pew Research reported in 2017 that nearly half of India’s migrants are in just three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and the United States. About 3.5 million Indians live in the UAE, the top destination country for Indian migrants. Over the past two decades, millions of Indians have migrated there to find employment as laborers. Pakistan has the second-largest number of Indian-born migrants, with 2 million who, according to the World Bank, send nearly $5 billion a year in remittances to their poor Muslim relatives in India.
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    Source: Hindustan Times


    Contrary to the sensational media headlines about declining Hindu population in Pakistan, the fact is that Hindu birth rate is significantly higher than the country's national average. Although Hindus make up only 1.9% of Pakistan's population, it is among the worlds fastest growing Hindu communities today, growing faster than the Hindu populations in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.



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    Hindu Population in West Pakistan Source: Census Data


    `Pakistan Census data. For 1931 and 1941, the figures are for West Pakistan in undivided India. For 1951 and 1961, the figures are for West Pakistan in undivided Pakistan. Data for 1971 could not be accessed.

    Hindu population of the areas that now constitute Pakistan was 15% in 1931 India Census. It declined to 14% in 1941 India Census. Then first Pakistan Census in 1951 showed it was 1.3% after the massive cross-border migration of both Hindus and Muslims in 1947. During the partition, 4.7 million Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India from what became Pakistan, while 6.5 million Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan. Since 1951, the Hindu population of what is now Pakistan has grown from 1.3% to 1.9% now.


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    Top Countries With Hindu Populations Source: Pew Research Center
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    Fastest Growing Religions By Countries
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    Sindhi Hindu Woman





    Hindu fertility rate (TFR) of 3.2 children per woman in Pakistan is much higher than national fertility rate of 2.86. With 3.33 million Hindus, Pakistan is currently home to the world's 5th largest Hindu population. By 2050, Pakistan will rank 4th with 5.6 million Hindus, surpassing Indonesia which is currently ranked 4th largest Hindu country, according to Pew Research.

    While it is true that some Pakistani Hindus have been targets of religious bigotry and intolerance by some extremists in the majority Muslim community, there are also many many examples of mutual tolerance and respect between Hindus and Muslims in the country. In the city of Mithi in Sindh's Tharparkar district, for example, Muslims do not slaughter cows out of respect for their fellow citizens of Hindu faith, and Hindus, out of respect for Muslim rites do not have marriage celebrations during the month of Muharram. Hassan Raza, a student journalist, quoted a resident of a village near Mithi as saying:

    "In our village, Hindus and Muslims have been living together for decades and there has not been a single day, when I have seen a religious conflict. No loud speaker is used for Azaan at the time when Hindus are worshiping in their temple, and no bells are rung when it is time for namaz. Nobody eats in public when it is Ramazan and Holi is played by every member of the village."



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    Diwali Celebration in Mithi, Pakistan

    Another example is Rohiri in Sindh where a visiting Canadian-Indian Hindu diplomat saw a thriving Hindu community. Here's an except of how he describes his visit to Rohiri:

    "One of the most interesting elements of the trip was visiting my father’s town, Rohiri, his birthplace. I found there was still a sizeable Hindu community there. That totally took me by surprise. We still think there was a massive religious cleansing in Pakistan and there were no Hindus left. Then I came across this family of shopkeepers who said, “Don’t worry about anything. Stay with us.” They gave me lunch and dinner and put me on the night train to Lahore. Talking to this family in the neighbourhood where my father grew up and was married was fascinating. The question that came to mind was why did my father’s family leave Pakistan and why are these people still here? Official figures suggest 14 million people were displaced after partition and that half a million to a million people were killed. And yet 60 years later these Hindu people in Rohiri are still there. They felt connected to the place where they were born. In the three towns I passed through I kept meeting Hindus — traders, professionals. Their numbers were small, 300 or 400 families in each of these towns. They have their own places of worship. I dared to ask: “Are you happy here?” and they said, “Yes, this is the land where we were born.”"


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    Pakistani Fashion Designer Deepak Perwani in Karachi


    A successful Karachi-based Hindu Pakistani fashion designer Deepak Perwani said the following while talking to Indian media in 2012:

    "People keep asking me, 'Oh you guys didn't migrate?', 'How are you treated there?' and so on. The questions show a lack of awareness." Perwani is part of Karachi's flourishing Hindu community, which is small but visible and influential even today. One lakh of Karachi's 1.3 crore population is Hindu.

    As Perwani puts it, a lot of what people say about Pakistani Hindus shows "a lack of awareness".

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  2. RiazHaq

    RiazHaq SENIOR MEMBER

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  3. wiseone2

    wiseone2 BANNED

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  4. abp94

    abp94 FULL MEMBER

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  5. Sher Shah Awan

    Sher Shah Awan SENIOR MEMBER

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    The numbers of minorities in Pakistan is purposely distorted and under-reported... I don't trust any census.
     
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