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Pakistani Hindu Pilgrims Do Not Intend To Return From India

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ISLAMABAD, September 11, 2012 (Daily Times, Pakistan): Scores of Pakistani Hindu pilgrims currently in India’s Rajasthan have said they do not intend to return to their country, a media report said on Monday. A group of 171 Pakistani Hindus travelled to Jodhpur on the Thar Express train yesterday. Though the Hindus are on a pilgrimage, their leader said they would not go back to Pakistan, according to BBC Urdu.

The Samenath Lok Sangathan (SLS), an organisation working for the welfare of Hindus, has appealed to the Indian government to accord refugee status to the pilgrims. The Pakistanis were welcomed at Jodhpur railway station by SLS workers who made arrangements for their stay and food. A spokesman for SLS said all 171 Pakistani Hindus were residents of Sanghar and Hyderabad cities of Sindh province. They belong to the Bheel tribe.

Reports say Hindus, particularly those in Sindh, are victims of persecution, including forced conversion to Islam, extortion demands and kidnapping for ransom. Reports in the Pakistani media have said a sizable number of Hindus are planning to seek asylum in India. On August 10, President Asif Zardari formed a parliamentary committee to investigate the persecution of Hindus. The committee comprising parliamentarians visited different cities of Sindh and met Hindus.

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