The debate over the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) will never come to an end until and unless the government presents the clear mandate of the Citizenship law. The center aims to provide citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The reason is to protect the minorities, who were persecuted. Now the first question strikes us is; are the minorities really unsafe in Islamic countries? What is the population rate of Hindus in Pakistan? Let’s get into the details.
A need for the Citizen Amendment Act
The Indian government had earlier introduced the bill offering citizenship to illegal immigrants from three neighboring countries. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who have entered India illegally can apply for citizenship if they can prove they originate from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan.
According to the government it claims that the minorities in those countries are decreasing and that they face torture on the grounds of their faith.
Nevertheless, all these countries especially Pakistan have constitutional provisions stating that non-Muslims have rights and are free to practice their faith. But there is a different picture here; the Pakistani Hindus who migrated to India in recent years told in a report that they face social and religious discrimination, with a particular issue being the target of Hindu girls in Sindh province.
Hindus in Pakistan
Experts have also found out that the Hindu population in Pakistan recorded a massive decline since the year of Independence. Not just our western neighbors, but Bangladesh has also recorded slow Hindu population growth in the country.
The 2017 senses say that Pakistan had a total population growth of 207 million in the Muslim community. However, the growth was frozen for the minorities in the region. The reason for the decline in the Hindu population would be regarded due to religious conversion. There are several claims about a Hindu girl being converted into Islam in Pakistan, which is a disturbing act.
Frozen numbers of Hindu population
The Imran Khan government has not yet exhibited the religious structure of its population in the latest census. The 1998 census pegged the population of Hindus at 2.1 million. In 1998, Hindus comprised 1.6 percent of Pakistan’s population which made them the biggest minority group in the country. Assuming that the proportion of Hindus in Pakistan’s total population remained the same, the number of Hindus in Pakistan, according to its latest census, would be around 3.3 million.
Amit Shah had earlier told ” In 1947 Pakistan minorities were reported to be 23%, but unfortunately, the number declined to 3.7% in 2011. Similarly, in 1947 Bangladesh had 22% minority population which was later reduced to 7.8%. Where did these people go? This is just a religious conversion. Either they are killed or were thrown out of the country.”
Speaking on other minorities like Christians in Pakistan, they also constitute a proportion of the population similar to Hindus, they are more concentrated in Pakistan’s urban areas, especially Islamabad.
Amit Shah stands firm
Amit Shah speaking about the importance of bill said, “The population of Muslims hasn’t reduced in India. The population of Hindus has reduced there [in the neighboring countries] because they are being persecuted. Muslims aren’t being persecuted.”
“Around 600 Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh have been given citizenship by the Modi government in the last five years. We’ve given citizenship to over 6 lakh Sri Lankan Tamils. The Law is expected to solve a particular problem… religious persecution in these three countries,” Shah also said.