Imran Khan's party's ex MLA seeks asylum in India, alleges genocide in Pakistan
10 September 2019
Baldev Singh, a former MLA from Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), has sought political asylum in India, alleging threat to life and citing the bad treatment meted out to minorities in Pakistan.
The 43-year-old former MLA from Barikot (reserved) seat in Khyber Pakhtun Khwa (KPK) assembly reached India with his family on Monday and does not want to return to Pakistan as, according to him, minorities are treated badly and “Hindus and Sikhs are killed on a daily basis” in the neighbouring country.
Baldev Singh said he was falsely accused of murdering an MLA (MPA in Pakistan) in 2016. Singh was charged with murder, but was acquitted in 2018 due to lack of evidence.
Mohajirs, Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India to Pakistan during partition, and Balochs have been accusing the Pakistani security agencies of human rights violations against the minority communities.
On 3 September, a Hindu girl was allegedly abducted and converted to Islam in Pakistan's Sindh province, the second incident of forced conversion in the Muslim-majority country within a week.
In July, the Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a resolution demanding that the practice of forced conversions and abductions of Hindu girls must be stopped and action be taken against those involved in such activities.
The resolution was adopted months after the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in its annual report in April raised concerns about incidents of forced conversions and marriages of Hindu and Christian girls, saying around 1,000 such cases were reported in the southern Sindh province alone last year.
Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.
A majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with their Muslim fellow citizens.
The reports come as the United Nations Human Rights Council is meeting in Geneva, pitting India and Pakistan against each other, after Pakistan raked up the issue of abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, in a bid to win international support for its Kashmir agenda.
India too has braced itself for the tough challenge by calling in a high-level official team.
Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday expressed "deep concern" at the communication shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir.
She further urged the Indian government to protect the rights of the people and stressed that it was important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes.
An enthused Pakistan PM Imran Khan followed up with demand that a probe be set up immediately to investigate the alleged human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, reports citing military sources said the Indian Army on Monday carried out a major offensive against terrorists by destroying terror launch pads in PoK. The terror launch pad was located in Leepa Valley, a Zee Media report said.
The report said the Army targeted the launch pad which was located near Pakistani army posts, adding that Pakistani army was using these post to target Indian villages in order to provide cover to the terrorists to infiltrate inside India.
Sources added that Pakistani army was using these post to target Indian villages in order to provide cover to the terrorists to infiltrate inside India.
According to intelligence sources, terrorists from different Pakistani groups, including Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba are part of these training camps set up with the help of Pakistani army in August. These terrorists are also being trained to cross the Line of Control (LoC) and enter Jammu and Kashmir. They have been asked to attack a popular religious shrine in Jammu and Kashmir and also target security forces stationed in the union territory.
Intelligence sources also said that Pakistan army and ISI have set up three new terror camps in PoK with the aim of ensuring the infiltration of a large number of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir.