Pakistan lawmaker says ‘Hindus are our enemy’, draws ire

Later, the assembly members took both the protesting Members of Provincial Assembly into confidence and brought them back to the session. Members representing the minority community at a provincial assembly in Pakistan walked out of the session after a PPP lawmaker said that “Hindus are our enemy” in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack. His remark was criticised by Ravi Kumar and Ranjeet Singh who walked out of the assembly session. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Sher Azam Wazir, in his address in the assembly, said that “Hindus are our enemy”. Wazir, however, apologised over his choice of words and said that he should have used the word “Hindustan” (India) instead. Later, the assembly members took both the protesting Members of Provincial Assembly into confidence and brought them back to the session. Kumar said that though India is hostile towards Pakistan, the Hindu community is not. Speaker Mushtaq […]

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History of Hinduism in Sindh from ancient times

Sindh: It is a southeastern state of Pakistan with its capital in Karachi. The name Sindh drives from the Sanskrit word Sindhu which is a river crossing both countries Pakistan and India. The state got its name because of being in the proximity of the Sindhu river. Hind: This name also comes from the Sanskrit word Sindhu. Sindh which is currently the province of Pakistan is a piece of land adjacent to Indus River and the Thar Desert. In past times, it was intertwined with the Indian subcontinent and located at the center of Indus valley civilization which is one of the world’s greatest pre-classical civilizations. But before being a part of Pakistan and being invaded by Mohammad bin Qasim, it had its own historical significance. In fact, the Hindu religion was the most prominent in this area and was practiced in a peaceful manner.

Map of India during the Vedic period, including Sindh.

Let’s find out more […]

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The oldest Jain temple in Pakistan

By: Wali Imran Khalil.

200 BC Greek City SirKap Pakistan is designed like Islamabad

 

SirKap is the only Greek city in the Indo Pakistan Subcontinent from the Greco-Bactrian times.

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Taxila city, which is synonymous with SirKap, has been mentioned by Greek philosopher Apollonius of Tyana of 1st Century AD as resembling Athens and Nineveh (Greek colony in present day Iraq).

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Even a Chinese traveler of early times talked of this city being strategically located at the cross roads of trade between India, China, Central Asia and Persia.

‘Bhir’ was the native city near the SriKap site that was sacked by Alexander of Macedonia in 326 BC

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Following Alexander’s (The son of Zeus’s) footsteps, Demetrius sacked the town again in 180 BC and laid foundation of SirKap city.

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Jain Temple

Demetrius styled the city on Athens.

The imposing castle of Asoka (304-232BC) still overlooks the city.

The Greek took over Asoka’s Buddhist Kingdom and melded into it.

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Indo-Greek Menander in 130 BC increased various sectors of SirKap. A Greek styled temple (Jandial) was built outside the 30 foot walls of SirKap, complete with its front Columns. Inside the walled city were syncretic temples of Jain, Sun worshipers, Hindus, Buddhists.

There was Persian Gondophares’s double headed eagle temple and a huge sun dial. The King had his royal court at the opposite end of the main boulevard.

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The city had its own water channels, drainage, wells, market place, barracks’, and residential colonies.

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One illegal excavator approached me with coins of Kushan period and said that very recently bronze statues and utensils were dug out by locals. The private archeological collection of locals is a lot more valuable than what is in the Taxila Government museum.

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SirKap was destroyed by a great earth quake in the 40 AD and then taken over by the mysterious ‘European looking’ central Asian Kushan’ (Yuezhi)

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A rival city, SirSukh was built a few kilometers away by the Kushan. SirSukh has yet to be completely excavated.

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Buddhist monasteries like Jaulian, Maura Muradu, Badalpur, etc. dotted the higher grounds around SirKap

The city was probably abandoned in the White Huns invasion of 5th century BC

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Standing in the middle of the sun dial of SirKap, it made perfect sense to me that Demetrius located this modern city on higher ground protected by the Indus & Jehlum River on both flanks, and by mountains from the North.

I always wondered where the pencil Greek nose, light eyes, blond hair and widely hedonistic traits in some Pakistani families comes from.

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Well now I know — from the Turkish Greek Border!

Do enjoy the video of Taxilla and its Surrounding Buddhist sites.

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This Shivratri, Support Kashmiri Pandits

Hindu American Foundation, www.HAFsite.org
#

On this auspicious day of Shivaratri,
we are reinvigorating our advocacy efforts for Kashmiri Pandits.

We are working closely with leaders of the Kashmiri Pandit community here in America to amplify their voices. What does that include?

  • Put Masood Azhar onto the UN international terrorist list
  • Create more videos to set the record straight about Kashmir
  • Ensure Kashmiri Pandit leaders testify on Capitol Hill

Kashmir Pandits also refer to Shivaratri as Herath. As the story goes, Jabaar Khan, the governor of Kashmir, refused to let the Pandits celebrate Shivaratri in the winter. He knew the Pandits considered snowfall to be auspicious during Shivaratri. So, he forced them to celebrate the festival during the hottest month of summer…and snow fell that summer. The governor expressed his surprise by saying Herath!

Herath Mubarak to all of our Kashmiri Pandit friends!

Om Namah Shivaya.


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Another Hindu Girl forcibly converted and married in Pakistan

According to Pakistan Today, a reputed news paper of Pakistan, Anusha Meghwar, a 16-year-old girl belonging to the Meghwal tribe in Salam Kot area in Tharparkar, was “forcibly married” after her “conversion” to Islam.

Atrocity on Hindus in Pakistan continue despite hollow promises of Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan, showing to the world how well minorities should be treated by other countries.

https://twitter.com/KDSindhi/status/1087051565184311296/photo/1


 

 Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s ex-wife Reham Khan took to twitter and condemned the incident saying, “Disgusting but there will be no action as politics comes first for all players.”

A Hindu girl in Pakistan’s Sindh province was allegedly converted and married off to a Muslim man. According to the report, the 16-year-old Hindu girl was abducted before she was married off to the Muslim man.

Anusha Meghwar, from Mehghwar tribe, was allegedly abducted from Salam Kot area in Tharparkar. Meghawar was later forcibly converted and married off to the Muslim man.

THARPARKAR AREA

The Muslim man, to whom Meghawar has been married off, reportedly enjoys support of the local Muslim cleric who is known to have converted many Hindu minorities people in the past. According to the the reports, at least 80 per cent of the population of Tharparkar area belongs to the Hindu faith.

However, the Hindu population is a victim to an ongoing assault by anti-Hindu groups who target them for abductions, rape, forced conversions, and forced marriages.

IMRAN KHAN GOVERNMENT IN PAKISTAN

Even though such cases are being reported on almost regular basis, neither the federal government of Imran Khan not the provincial government of Pakistan People Party (PPP) have taken any steps to curb and stop such incidents from happening.

The latest incident comes as a serious dent to the promises of the ruling government of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who had promised to prevent forced conversions and marriages of Hindu girls.

“Anusha’s forced marriage has once again conveyed a message to the Hindu community of the area that their children were not safe in Pakistan and they had taken a wrong decision in 1947 to stay in Sindh,” Kapil Dev, a human rights activist from Tharparkar, said.

IMRAN KHAN’S EX-WIFE SPEAKS

Imran Khan’s ex-wife Reham Khan took to twitter and condemned the incident.

“Another case of a Hindu female child forcefully converted and married off. Disgusting but there will be no action as politics comes first for all players,” Reham Khan wrote.

 

Read the published story in Pakistan Today here.

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Of leading Hindus in Pakistan

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani is a high-profile leader of the Hindus of Pakistan and is a member of the National Assembly on a seat reserved for the minorities. Struggling for the rights of the most downtrodden community in Pakistan, he has been a member of the Sindh Assembly in the past, protesting his constituency’s plight in Tharparkar. 

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Hindu Combined Marriages

By : Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
Patron-in-chief, Pakistan Hindu Council
Member of National Assembly
WhatsApp: 0333-2277370
Twitter: @RVankwani

In the context of recently held Hindu Combined Marriages, my article published in The News (English), Jang (Urdu) and Ibrat (Sindhi) to highlight the socio-economic importance of mass weddings.

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Pakistan Hindus celebrate Diwali 2018 in Karachi

By : www.pakistanhinducouncil.org.pk.

Karwan Group organised the Diwali function supported by Pakistan Hindu Council on 10th November, 2018 at Global Marquee, Karachi. The event has the theme of Ramaiyn as Diwali is celebrated for the return of Lord Ram to Ayodha after 14 year of Banwas. The event was started by doing  Arti and then all religious tableau were followed. Mr. Kirshan Sagar (Representer Karwan Group) welcome the all bearers and members of Pakistan Hindu Council and appreciated the efforts of Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Mr. Gopal Khamuani for Hindus all over Sindh and other provinces.

He also appreciated the efforts of Ex-President Mr. Hotchand Karmani who have done wonderful work in his tenure. He further stated that it is our pleasure to have all the elders and minority representatives at one platform and i will try to organize such events more often so that our religious values, norms and our culture can be represented internationally. Dr. Ramesh (Patron-in-chief) also praised the efforts of Kirshan Lal for organizing such a wonderful event as he stated that Diwali is the day of lights but it is also the day when Truth became powerful over evil.

He said we should celebrated these events with interfaith harmony as we believe that as Eid is celebrated in the whole country unanimously so Diwali and Christmas should also be celebrated all over the country as we are all Pakistani first. The President Pakistan Hindu Council Mr. Gopal Khamuani also praised the efforts of organisers and said that these events are the representation of our religion. I am happy to see families coming for celebrating the Diwali and I wish these type of events will be organised in the future. In the end, all the guest and audience enjoyed the Soofi Kalam by the lady Singer.

 

 

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Potential of Faith Tourism in Pakistan

By : Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a member of the National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

There is no doubt that the economies of peace-loving countries in the modern era are heavily dependent on tourism. To attract international tourists, such countries tend to brand themselves as a tourism-friendly societies. It is, therefore, a good sign that Prime Minister Imran Khan mentioned the importance of promoting tourism in the country in his first speech to the nation.

In the top trends of international tourism, religious tourism holds a prominent place. According to a report, every year more than 300 million people visits different places all over the globe for religious purposes. This generates collective revenues of more than $18 billion annually.

Visionary leaderships engage universities to conduct research that can help formulate positive policies. Faith tourism also helps promote our local industries, people-to-people contact and cordial diplomatic relations.

Every year, many tourists reportedly visit the Philippines, which is a Catholic-majority Asian country. In order to increase the number of international tourists in subsequent years, the government of the Philippines is also focusing on religious tourism. The government is keen to seek the attention of international tourists through the popular religious festival of Sinulog.

One of the largest religious festivals of the world is India’s Kumbh Mela, which is attended by 10 million devotees. However, the most well-managed sacred festival is Haj.

A popular spot for religious tourism among people in America and other Western countries tourists is the historical city of Jerusalem. The followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism frequently visit the city. A large number of Hindu pilgrims also visit River Ganga in India. Similarly, the shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer Sharif also attracts followers of various religions. Every day, almost 100,000 people visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Muslims pilgrims also travel to Iran, Iraq and Syria to visit their sacred places. Turkey also welcomes around 32 million international tourists every year. There are many places of religious importance in Turkey, which include mosques, monasteries and buildings constructed during the Ottoman Empire.

Pakistan also holds considerable importance for the followers of four major world religions: Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. The presence of Sufi shrines in Sindh reflects that those who speak the language of love never die. In fact, they live in people’s hearts forever.

The Hanglaj Temple, Katas Raj Temple, and Anandpur Temple are sacred places. Hindu pilgrims from India, America, and Canada used to visit them in Pakistan. The traces of the ancient Mohenjodaro and Gandhara civilisations also reflect the impact of Hinduism and Buddhism on the region.

Taxila also had historical importance during the era of Hindu emperor Chandragupta Maurya and also holds significance as a major site for learning in Buddhism. The great philosopher Chanakya was also a teacher at an ancient university in Taxila. Takht Bhai, another historical Buddhist site, is another attractive spot for tourists.

Similarly, Pakistan also hosts many sacred sites for the Sikh community, including Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasan Abdal, and the Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.

The Bari Imam Shrine and Golra Sharif Shrine in the federal capital are teeming with visitors every day. An impressive religious gathering can be witnessed at the Raiwind Tableeghi Ijtemah. Without visiting Badshahi Masjid in Lahore and Faisal Masjid in Islamabad, an international tourist’s visit is considered incomplete.

We must think about why our country lags behind in terms of religious tourism even though it has so many important religious sites. Political appointments in key posts and the performance of the Evacuee Trust Property Board have made it difficult for the state to protect sacred places of religious minorities. The law and order situation in the country is satisfactory due to the sacrifices of our armed forces. It is now the responsibility of the present government to promote a positive image of Pakistan at the international level and devise strong policies to promote religious tourism.

Our foreign policy must ensure a soft visa regime for international religious tourists. Faith tourism is so important that we should establish a separate department. In this way, we can secure millions of dollars every year by allowing religious tourists from South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and other countries to visit Pakistan. The revenue generated from religious tourists can help us get rid of foreign debts and ensure a bright future for our coming generations.

The writer is a member of the Pakistan National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

Twitter: RVankwani

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Pakistani Hindus discuss their issues in Pakistan Hindu Council AGM

By : pakistanhinducouncil.org.pk.

The First General Body Meeting of Pakistan Hindu Council Cabinet 18-20 was held on 9th December 2018, Sunday at Global Marquees, Karachi. The meeting was started with Gayatri/Mool Mantar and then a welcome speech was done by Mr. Raja Bhawan (Vice-President) in which he welcomed all the members and applauds all the members for their contribution in PHC. The financial budget was presented by Mr. Bharat Kumar Manglani (Finance Secretary) in which all details were shared with the members. All Members unanimously approved the financial budget and praised the dedication of the Finance Secretary. Mr. Parshotam Ramani (General Secretary) described all the projects and events in front of members to show the performance and progress of this cabinet. As the main agenda was Forced Conversion so Mr. Gopal Khamuani (President) stated that forced conversion has become a big issue for Hindus and this should be resolved as soon as possible. He further said I think lack of caring and busy schedule of parents is also the reason for children to convert their religion. He also demanded in his speech that Marriage act law should be implemented on an immediate basis and the chairman of Evacuee trust property should be a Hindu so that no Hindu property get possessed illegally. To finish this matter from its roots, it is necessary to give our children the knowledge of religion, sacrifices and our norms along with basic knowledge. The President also discussed the future plans as he said that we are making committees at the district level so that we get knowledge about the people issues and we will also organize Dharmic quiz programs in different districts so that children get knowledge about our religion.

However, in open discussion, all respected members shared their thoughts and suggestions regarding this issue. Mr. Paman Lal Rathi (Joint Secretary) stated that these cases usually take place in lower areas like Thar and interior where people do not have enough to eat and also do not have the education so we should give them education and should help them in reducing the poverty. Mr. Hotchand Karmani (Advisor and Ex-President) stated that it is the responsibility of every member of PHC to help people and to solve their issues. Mr. Rajesh Kumar Hardasani (Advisor) advised that we should tell our children about our religion and about the life of girls who got victimized and sometimes parents are also responsible in this issues as they did not give time to their children and allow them to do by their own. Mr. Harish Sakhija (MC Member) stated that there are different reasons but we should handle these issues personally and did not let anyone do politics as this is the matter of many lives. Mr. Prem Talreja (Advisor) advised that we should not create difference and should help lower castes as well because we all are from one religion and human first. At last, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani (Patron) also shared its work and dedication towards this issues as he stated that people do politics in these issues that cause a negative impact on our community. He stated that we should stay combine and should fight boldly against these issues so that we could get over this issue. At last, the Patron answered the questions of members and then it was unanimously decided by all the Bearers, MC Members, Advisors, Observers, life members and associate members that parent should give time to their children and should give them religious knowledge as well so that they know about the actual meaning of Hinduism and the purification of this religion.

 

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