An elderly Indian man and his son have sought refuge in Pakistan, claiming they were targeted by extremist individuals in their homeland whom they referred to as “Hindu terrorists.”
Seventy-year-old Mohammad Hasnain and his 31-year-old son, Ishaq Amir, both residents of New Delhi, embarked on a journey to Pakistan following what they described as multiple threats from radical elements and Hindu extremism in India.
Their journey began on September 5 when they traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Two days later, they obtained a visa for Afghanistan and reached Kabul on September 8. From Kabul, they took a flight to Kandahar and eventually arrived at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Spin Boldak via taxi.
With the assistance of an agent, the father and son successfully entered Pakistan through the Chaman border. After crossing into Pakistan, they paid a Pakistani taxi driver Rs60,000 to transport them to Hub, from where they traveled to Karachi in a rickshaw.
Upon arriving in Karachi, they contacted the local police, who subsequently transferred them to an Edhi center. At present, they are staying at the Edhi center in Sohrab Goth and have expressed their reluctance to return to India fear of Hindu extremist, citing persecution of Muslims in their home country.
The duo’s claims of religious discrimination in India are not isolated. India, the world’s largest democracy, has witnessed a concerning increase in religious tensions since the rise to power of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 supporter of Hindu extremist.
In annual reports on religious freedom, the US State Department has documented numerous instances of violence and discrimination against religious minorities, including Muslims and Christians, in the densely populated nation of over a billion people.
Human rights organizations have also accused Modi’s government of fostering a climate of religious nationalism that discriminates against minority groups, including Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs. The father and son’s plea for refuge in Pakistan highlights the ongoing concerns surrounding religious freedom and minority rights in the region.