British Hindu groups lobby UK PM over Pakistan’s persecution of minorities

British Hindu groups lobby UK PM over Pakistan’s persecution of minorities

Leading British Hindu umbrella organisations have come together to issue a joint letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking action from Pakistan over the “rampant persecution” of Hindus in the country, highlighting the burning of a temple in the Khyber region last month as the most recent example.

The letter – signed by Trupti Patel, President of the Hindu Forum of Britain; Dharaj Shah, President of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh; Rajnish Kashyap, General Secretary of the Hindu Council UK; Arun Thakar, President of the National Council of Hindu Temples UK; and Tribhuvan Jotangia, President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad – was issued to 10 Downing Street in London on Saturday.

“We the representatives of the national umbrella bodies for Hindus in the UK would like to seek urgent action to demand that the Prime Minister of Pakistan does everything possible to stop the rampant persecution of Hindus in Pakistan… in the recent past the situation for minorities like Hindus in Pakistan is getting extremely perilous,” the letter notes.

“We ask you Prime Minister to set up a Governmental Inquiry into this issue and to ask all good democracies around the world, via the United Nations, to replicate a similar type of inquiry. The mass murder, genocide and persecution of minorities in Pakistan must be stopped,” it adds.

The letter details an incident on December 30, 2020, when a Hindu temple was burnt down and destroyed by what the groups describe as a mob consisting of “thousands of fanatics led by clerics" in the Khyber region of Pakistan. According to reports, thousands descended upon the Hindu temple in the village of Teri in Karak district before setting it on fire.

“The vast majority of UK and international news organisations failed to cover this religiously motivated hate crime,” the letter reads.

It also points to controversial sentiments displayed by high-profile figures in Pakistan, which included opposition to the building of a Hindu temple in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and resulted in “galvanised anti-Hindu hysteria”.

“This systemic targeting is of course not only against Hindus; the Christian community also stands testament to the same persecution,” the letter adds.

The organisations, who collectively represent the British Hindu community as a whole, have also sought a meeting at Downing Street to discuss the matter further.

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