London, Aug 19: Demanding equal rights for Hindus living in Pakistan, a protest demonstration against the persecution of the minority community was held outside the Pakistan High Commission here.
"The Hindus in Pakistan are facing a lot of suppression by the Muslim majority for the only reason that they are Hindu. Destruction of temples, abduction of Hindu girls and forced conversion and marriages, mass violence and economic and political marginalisation are just a few problems," the Alliance of Pakistani and British Hindus said in a statement.
The protesters, carrying placards reading "No More Forced Conversions", also handed over a petition to the High Commission at Lowndes Square in central London yesterday asking the Pakistani government to take immediate steps to ensure the well being and safety of Hindus in the country. "They (Hindus) are not free to go to their temples which have been wilfully destroyed.
They are not equal citizens of one state but victims of religious discrimination. They live in perpetual dread with their daughters, property and religious places being constantly targeted for the only reason that they are not Muslim, but Hindu," the petition said.
"Therefore the Hindu community in UK urges the government of Pakistan to implement meaningful constitutional and legal reform to ensure equality and religious freedom for the Pakistani Hindus ; to protect the Hindus against violence such as abductions and forced conversions of Hindu girls and destruction of temples," it said.
"Pakistan must also repeal or at least review blasphemy laws and must remove all discriminatory references from the current educational curriculum and foster interfaith harmony within schools in Pakistan," the petition said. Pakistan is home to about 3 million Hindus, comprising about 1.6 per cent of the population.