Pakistani Hindu families seek India citizenship

March 10th, 2009 - 12:52 am ICT by IANS  

Amritsar, March 9 (IANS) Fearing intimidation by the Taliban, a few Hindu families from Pakistan on a visit to Punjab are refusing to return home and have sought Indian citizenship.
Camping at a lodge near the Hindu shrine Durgiana temple here, the Hindu families from Pakistan say that the Taliban, whose writ runs in Peshawar and its surrounding areas, will make life hell for them if they return.

The group of families comprises over 35 members, including women and children. The families had come to India a few months ago but do not want to go back now.

“Our women and children will not be safe there. The Indian government should do something to help us. We are ready to leave everything back in Pakistan to live here,” said Jagdish Sharma, one of the Pakistani Hindus.

When India was partitioned in August 1947, a few Hindu and Sikh families settled in areas falling under Pakistan decided to stay back in the Islamic country.

“The situation there is very bad. We don’t want to return. We want Indian citizenship to start a new life here,” said Peshawar resident Avtari Lal.

The visitor visa, on which these families came to India, will end soon and this has made these families anxious.

They said that they have begun to regret the decision by their families to stay back in Pakistan in 1947 and not move to India.

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