Sit-in announced in capital against killing of 11 Pakistanis in India

Updated 23 Sep 2020

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PTI lawmaker Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani said convoys from across the country led by members of the Hindu community will arrive in Islamabad on Thursday to hold the protest sit-in. — Photo courtesy Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani Facebook/File
PTI lawmaker Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani said convoys from across the country led by members of the Hindu community will arrive in Islamabad on Thursday to hold the protest sit-in. — Photo courtesy Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani Facebook/File

ISLAMABAD: PTI lawmaker Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani on Tuesday announced to hold a sit-in in the Red Zone of the federal capital to seek justice over the death of 11 Pakistanis in the Indian city of Jodhpur, who were killed by extremist Hindu nationalists.

Addressing a press conference, the MNA, who is the patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC), said convoys from across the country led by members of the Hindu community will arrive in Islamabad on Thursday to hold the protest sit-in.

He said the victims belonged to the Bheel community from Tharparkar and the PHC had decided to hold the protest in front of the Indian High Commission.

The protest caravan will commence in Tharparkar and after passing through Mirpurkhas, Thatta, Hyderabad and Nawabshah would move to Islamabad. Another protest rally will come from Karachi and join the protestors from Larkana and Kashmore.

“Not only Hindus but also the entire Pakistani nation will be with me to seek justice for the 11 Pakistani Hindus killed by the extremists of RSS.”

Convoys from across country led by members of Hindu community will arrive on Thursday, says PTI lawmaker

Dr Vankwani said the sit-in will continue until Indian authorities lodge an FIR against the culprits and submit the postmortem reports of the 11 people to the Pakistan High Commission.

He said the members of the Hindu family had migrated from Pakistan to India in 2012 but they were not granted Indian citizenship. The authorities claimed that the family members committed suicide by consuming some chemical on August 9, 2020.

“But what we say is that if they have committed mass suicide, there was no reason to stop the Pakistani High Commission from accessing the case. The reason is that India has declared these murders a suicide.”

The PTI lawmaker also spoke about his discussions with Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and said he (Dr Vankwani) was under pressure from his community to raise voice for those who have been killed.

“The foreign minister told me last week that the Indian high commissioner had been called and it was likely that things will move in a right direction,” Dr Vankwani said.

“Today I was told by the foreign minister that we have to wait for some more time for the reply from the Indian side.”

He added: “I told the foreign minister that I am under severe pressure from my community and we cannot wait forever against the injustice by Modi and his henchmen.”

He said the daughter of the deceased head of the family, Shrimati Mukhi, had filed an FIR in Sanghar, nominating RSS and BJP for their involvement in the murder of her family members.

As per Ms Mukhi, her father, mother and other family members were murdered after they refused to spy on Pakistan and issue anti-Pakistan statements at the behest of the Indian intelligence agency, RAW.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said the foreign minister informed Dr Vankwani that Pakistan had taken up the issue forcefully with the Indian side through diplomatic channels both in Islamabad as well as in New Delhi.

Immediately after the incident, the high commission of Pakistan in New Delhi asked the government of India for provision of access to the surviving member of the bereaved family, sharing of copies of the FIR and initial investigation report and facilitating the presence of the high commission for Pakistan’s representatives during the postmortem of the deceased persons.

Mr Qureshi assured the MNA that safety and security of all its nationals was the responsibility of the government of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2020