The Indian government is deliberating upon a proposal aimed to simplify procedures for granting Indian citizenship to Pakistani Hindus. The proposal looks to allow “minority communities of Pakistan staying in India on a Long Term Visa” to buy property, open bank accounts and obtain a permanent account number and Aadhaar number; all measures to incentivise a migration from their homeland. As a first step to granting this prized Indian nationality to some 200,000 refugees from neighbouring countries, the BJP government has given citizenship to around 4,300 Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Afghanistan in just 2015.

Over the past five years, the country has experienced an exodus as 1400 Pakistani Hindus alone, have traveled from Pakistan to India in order to escape discrimination and religious oppression. While this migration can also be partly blamed on the ideology of the BJP who have kept religion at the forefront of their dirty politics to keep the fire of hatred between the two countries alive and crackling, some reflection needs to be done over the state of minority rights in the country.

Access to education, healthcare, and equal employment opportunities are difficult for the Hindus of Pakistan. Even the right of registering their marriage by law only became a reality after 68 years since Pakistan’s independence, and that too, not without controversy. Apart from this, reports of forced conversion and forced marriages keep cropping up, creating an environment of bitterness and insecurity. It is a sorry state of affairs that the refugees who travel to India in hopes of a better life are disillusioned with their treatment on the other side of the border. The Pakistan envisioned by the Quaid was one where Hindus and Muslims could live in peace and equality. The government must take measures to make these Pakistani citizens feels safe where they are.