QUETTA – Speakers at a consultative session regretted that incidents of kidnapping for ransom have compelled minorities to migrate from Balochistan who had been living here for centuries. They said that religious extremism and poor role of political parties in connection with protection of minority‘s rights had ignited the sense of deprivation among the minorities.

They stated this during a consultative session on “Minority’s Rights in Balochistan” organised by Centre for Peace and Development (CPD) here on Tuesday.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan member Dr Faiz informed that over 60 per cent families hailing from Hindu community have migrated from district Mastung only. He said that mounting trend of extremism, ill social behaviour and violation of basic rights have created a sense of deprivation and insecurity among minorities.

National Party leader Handeri Baloch said that Hindu community is being forced to quit Balochistan through a well-knitted plot. He said that the community has good share in business sector due to which they are being subjected to kidnapping for ransom. Besides, Hindu and other minorities are now feeling themselves insecure in Balochistan, he added.

Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Shamsullah said that Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and others should not be taken as religious minorities as this term create an image of discrimination against them. Muslim community in Balochistan treats people of other minorities like their brothers and sisters, and does not let them feel alien, he added.

CPD Programme Manager Uzma Yaqoob said that the organisation has started a campaign to protect rights of minorities in seven districts of Balochistan including Quetta, Loralai, Nushki, Bolan, Nasirabad, Jaffarabad and Sibi. She said that focus of the drive is to end isolation of minorities, bringing them to mainstream life. She said efforts are being made to end discrimination against minorities in the society. She urged the government, political parties, social organisations and media to play their role in ensuring protection of cultural, social, political and economic rights of minorities.