Pakistan Ranks 4th Highest Source of Foreign Remittances to India

Pakistanis sent nearly $5 billion to help their relatives in India in 2015, according to data released by the World Bank. This makes Pakistan the 4th largest source of foreign remittances to India, putting Pakistan ahead of Kuwait and the United Kingdom. Only United Arab Emirates, United States and Saudi Arabia sent more money to India.

Source: Wall Street Journal 

With over 1.4 million Pakistanis born in India, there are literally millions of family connections between the two countries and millions of reasons a person in Pakistan might find a way to get money to relatives in India. The money could be sent for a brother in need, a cousin’s wedding, an uncle’s funeral or even to help educate a niece, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Source: Hindustan Times

I personally know people in my own circle of friends and family in Pakistan who regularly send money to relatives in India to help them out in times of need. Such remittances are used to build homes, educate children, pay for health care or girls' weddings.

While Muslims in Pakistan have prospered, the Indian Muslims have become the new untouchables in their land of birth. They suffer widespread discrimination in education, employment, housing and criminal justice. Muslims make up 13% of India's population but 28% of Indian prisoners. Similarly, Christians make up 2.8% of India's population but 6% of India's prison population.  Meanwhile, the newly elected parliament has just 4% Muslim representation. Housing discrimination in India is so bad that an Indian MP Shashi Tharoor recently tweeted: "Try renting an apartment using a #Muslim name (In #India )".

The latest World Bank remittance offers yet another confirmation that the South Asian Muslims who migrated from what is now India to Pakistan have fared relatively better in terms of economic and other opportunities. Pakistani Muslims have the means to help their relatives in India. It reinforces my own anecdotal observation during my visits to both countries.  I see that my own relatives in Pakistan are much better off than those in India. My Pakistani relatives enjoy better opportunities for education and jobs giving them higher standards of living than those in India.

In fact, Pakistan has continued to offer much greater upward economic and social mobility to its citizens than neighboring India over the last two decades. Since 1990, Pakistan's middle class had expanded by 36.5% and India's by only 12.8%, according to an ADB report titled "Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present And Future.

Source: ADB
New York Times' Sabrina Tavernise described the rise of Pakistan's middle class in a story from Pakistani town of Muzaffargarh in the following words:

For years, feudal lords reigned supreme, serving as the police, the judge and the political leader. Plantations had jails, and political seats were practically owned by families.

Instead of midwifing democracy, these aristocrats obstructed it, ignoring the needs of rural Pakistanis, half of whom are still landless and desperately poor more than 60 years after Pakistan became a state.

But changes began to erode the aristocrats’ power. 
Cities sprouted, with jobs in construction and industry. Large-scale farms eclipsed old-fashioned plantations. Vast hereditary lands splintered among generations of sons, and many aristocratic families left the country for cities, living beyond their means off sales of their remaining lands. Mobile labor has also reduced dependence on aristocratic families.

In Punjab, the country’s most populous province, and its most economically advanced, the number of national lawmakers from feudal families shrank to 25 percent in 2008 from 42 percent in 1970, according to a count conducted by Mubashir Hassan, a former finance minister, and The New York Times.

“Feudals are a dying breed,” said S. Akbar Zaidi, a Karachi-based fellow with the Carnegie Foundation. “They have no power outside the walls of their castles.”

In yet another confirmation that Pakistani Muslims are much better off than Indian Muslims, the World Bank data has revealed that $5 billion were remitted by Pakistanis to help their Indian Muslim relatives in 2015 alone. Such remittances are used to build homes, educate children, pay for health care or girls' weddings. This flow will have to increase in the future given the Modi government policies of Hinduization that are adversely impacting Indian Muslims by worsening the depth of their deprivations.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Are Muslims Better Off in Jinnah's Pakistan?

Maulana Azad's Grand-Niece India's BJP Minister

Hinduization of India Under Modi

Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims

Hindu Nationalists Admire Nazis


Riaz Haq said…
#Modi's #India, not #Pakistan, denies visas to #US religious freedom body #USCIRF #religiousdiscrimination #BJP

George said USCIRF had been able to travel to many countries, including those among the worst offenders of religious freedom, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China, and Myanmar.

India has denied visas for a delegation from the US government agency charged with monitoring international religious freedom.

The delegation from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom had been scheduled to leave for India on Friday for a long-planned visit with the support of the US state department and the US embassy in New Delhi, but India had failed to issue the necessary visas, the commission said.

“We are deeply disappointed by the Indian government’s denial, in effect, of these visas,” USCIRF chairman Robert George said in a statement.

“As a pluralistic, non-sectarian, and democratic state, and a close partner of the United States, India should have the confidence to allow our visit,” he said.

George said USCIRF had been able to travel to many countries, including those among the worst offenders of religious freedom, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China, and Myanmar.

“One would expect that the Indian government would allow for more transparency than have these nations, and would welcome the opportunity to convey its views directly to USCIRF.“

The Indian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last year, despite a much-heralded fresh start in US-India ties under Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, the United States ran into problems arranging visits by the head of its office to combat human trafficking and its special envoy for gay rights.

A state department official referred queries on the visa issue to the Indian government, but highlighted remarks by president Barack Obama on a visit to Delhi last year, in which he made a plea for freedom of religion in a country with a history of strife between Hindus and minorities.

In its 2015 report, the bipartisan USCIRF said incidents of religiously motivated and communal violence had reportedly increased for three consecutive years.

It said that despite its status as a pluralistic, secular democracy, India had long struggled to protect minority religious communities or provide justice when crimes occur, creating a climate of impunity.

Non-governmental organisations and religious leaders, including from the Muslim, Christian, and Sikh communities, attributed the initial increase in violence to religiously divisive campaigning in advance of the country’s 2014 general election won by Modi.

The report said that since the election, religious minorities had been subject to derogatory comments by politicians linked to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and numerous violent attacks and forced conversions by Hindu nationalist groups.

U.S. law allows for imposition of sanctions on countries the commission terms “of particular concern,” but the USCIRF’s recommendations are not binding and these are not automatically imposed.
Riaz Haq said…
Cultural event at #India's Jadavpur University defends #Kashmir’s right to #Azadi #FreeKashmir via @htTweets …

Jadavpur University (JU) students defended Kashmiri people’s ‘right to seek Azadi’ during a cultural event held on the campus on Tuesday, setting the stage for another confrontation with members of right-wing parties who have recently equated such views as anti-national.
Singer-turned-politician and former Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman performed at the event that was attended by more than 500 students and faculty members.
Recently a section of JU students put up alleged anti-national posters and chanted slogans in support of Afzal Guru and Yakub Menon, both of whom were hanged for their involvement in separate terror attacks.
The event was organised to protest the arrest of Jawahar Lal Nehru students Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya. Filmmaker Aniket Chattopadhyay and human rights activist Sujato Bhadra were among those who participated.
“India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had promised to hold plebiscite in Kashmir. That has not been fulfilled yet. The people are still being bombarded and killed. What else would they do other than seek ‘Azadi’ from the miserable lives they have been forced to live?”, said Sushil Mandi, a spokesperson of Leftwing student outfit Radical, which organised the programme.
He also defended certain JNU students who raised slogans demanding ‘azadi for Kashmir’ and eulogising Afzal Guru, the Parliament attack convict who was hanged.
“A lot of people in Kashmir consider Afzal Guru a martyr. Even the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) considers him a martyr. What’s wrong if JNU students, or any other person in this country, felt Afzal was a martyr?” Mandi asked.
Kabir Suman, a JU alumnus, performed a number of songs, including those that he composed protesting the killing of Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines, encounter deaths of Ishrat Jahan and Fulmoni Tudu and the suicide of Rohith Vemula. One of his songs, “Afzal Guru shono, Srinagar-a hobe dekha,” roughly translates to “See you in Srinagar, Afzal.” Suman also said that he is sympathetic to the Maoists’ cause.
Riaz Haq said…
#India is second most ignorant nation of the world after #Mexico: Survey via @dna

India has the "dubious honour" of being the second most ignorant nation in the world after Mexico, according to a survey which posed questions on issues like inequality, non-religious population, female employment and internet access.

The survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, a London-based market research firm, polled 25,000 people from 33 countries and found that while people "over-estimate what we worry about", a lot of major issues are underestimated.

Mexico and India receive the dubious honour of being the most inaccurate in their perceptions on these issues, while South Koreans are the most accurate, followed by the Irish," the survey said.

The rankings of the nations were based on the "Index of Ignorance" which was determined by questions about wealth that the top 1 % own, obesity, non-religious population, immigration, living with parents, female employment, rural living and internet access.

Most Indians "underestimate" how much of their country's wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1%, the survey said, adding that the top 1% actually own an "incredible" 70 % of all wealth.

The survey also found that most Indians "hugely overestimate" the proportions of non-religious people in the country to be 33% when the true figure is under 1 %.

While Israel significantly underestimates the proportion of female employment (by 29 % points), people in countries like India, Mexico, South Africa and Chile all think of more women in work than really are, it said.

India fell in the list of nations which overestimate representation by women in politics.

Countries like Columbia, Russia, India and Brazil all think there is better female representation than there really is, the survey said.

However, the Indian population seriously underestimates the rural population of the country and thinks more people have internet access than in reality.

In India the average guess among online respondents for internet access is 60 per cent - an overestimation of the true picture of 41 percentage points, the survey added.
Riaz Haq said…
Only 27% of Pakistanis identify themselves as Pakistanis first while 51% of Indians see themselves as Indians first. On the other hand, 43% of Pakistanis (vs 17% of Indians) say their religious identity comes first.

Three countries stand out in the way their populations think about self-identity. Spaniards are by far the most likely to identify with world citizenship (54%). For 56 per cent of Indonesians, belonging to their local community is the strongest defining identity. And for Pakistanis, a strong plurality (43%) identify first as a member of their religion.

The poll, conducted by GlobeScan among more than 20,000 people worldwide between December 2015 and April 2016, is being released as part of the BBC World Service Identity Season—a Spring season of broadcasts on the World Service’s 27 language services exploring stories about how people identify themselves around the world.

Among all 18 countries where this question was asked in 2016, the poll suggests more than half (51%) see themselves more as global citizens than citizens of their country, against 43 per cent who identify nationally. This is the first time since tracking began in 2001 that there is a global majority who leans this way, and the results in 2016 are driven by strong increases since 2015 in non-OECD countries including Nigeria (73%, up 13 points), China (71%, up 14 points), Peru (70%, up 27 points), and India (67%, up 13 points).
Riaz Haq said…
Hindu Nationalist explanations of India Muslims' deep deprivation remind me of Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal's study of "implicit bias" in America.

He found that White America oppresses Black Americans and keeps them poor, unemployed. ill-educated and backward. Then it points to their lack of education and backwardness as proof of their inferiority.
Riaz Haq said…
#Muslims in #India at bottom of higher education ladder, alongside backward tribes. #Modi #BJP

New Delhi, July 22: Despite almost trebling in the decade ending 2010 — from 5.2 per cent to 13.8 percent — the rate of Muslim enrolment in higher education trailed the national figure of 23.6 per cent, other backward classes (22.1 per cent) and scheduled castes (18.5 per cent). Scheduled tribes lagged Muslims by 0.5 per cent.
In proportion to their population, Muslims were worse-off than scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs). Muslims comprise 14 per cent of India’s population but account for 4.4 per cent of students enrolled in higher education, according to the 2014-15 All India Survey on Higher Education.
The situation has worsened over the last half century, according to the 2006 Sachar Committee, appointed to examine the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community.
In the decade since then, the gross enrolment rate of Muslims doubled from 6.84 per cent to 13.8 per cent. Despite this, they trail the national average.
The 147 per cent increase in SCs and 96 percenet increase in STs in higher education enrolments — which still lags their proportion in the general population — since 2001 is the outcome of affirmative action, as we explained in part one of this series. The second part described how the proportion of other backward classes (OBCs) in higher education is now almost the same as their corresponding share of the general population.
So, should reservation be extended to Muslims?
That is not an easy question to answer. In a nation declared secular by its constitution, educational institutions are disallowed from discriminating between students on religious grounds. However, states can tweak constitutionally-mandated reservation provisions to provide “for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes”.
Where such reservations have been made for Muslims over and above the few Muslim castes included in the OBC list, such as in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, their representation in higher education is three times the rate in non-minority institutions up North, according to Indian Muslims and Higher Education: A Study of Select Universities in North and South India, a 2013 comparative analysis.
Affirmative action has allowed many families to see their first-generation of graduates, post-graduates and doctorates. It has spurred progressive families to widen their horizons.
Poverty holds back Muslims from higher education — but not in south India
There is little doubt that Muslims are among India’s most economically disadvantaged communities. Hindus who are not classified backward and other minorities spent 60 per cent more than Muslims, according to the Sachar Committee.
No more than 81 per cent of urban male Muslims are literate, the lowest literacy rate among urban males from Indian religious groups — Hindus (91 per cent), Christians (94 per cent), Sikhs (86 per cent) and Others (95 per cent) — according to Employment and Unemployment Situation among Major Religious Groups in India, a 2010 National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report.
In higher education, Muslims (13.8 per cent) trailed all the major religions in gross enrolment rate in 2010 — Hindus (24.2 per cent), Christians (36.9 per cent) and others (Jains, Sikhs et al) (28 per cent).
Among Muslims, the work participation rate, another key determinant of socio-economic well-being, representing the workforce per 1000 population, was the lowest of all the major religions-536, below Sikhs (568), Christians (540), Hindus (563) and Others (573), also according to NSSO 2010.
Riaz Haq said…
One In Every Four 'Beggars' In #India Is #Muslim: Report …

Nearly 25 percent of the 3.7 lakh Indians categorised as "beggars" in the 2011 Census are Muslim, according to data released last month, reported The Indian Express. That's a total of 92,760 Muslim beggars in India.

While most of beggars in India are Hindus—about 72.2 percent—Hindus are also the majority religious group in India, accounting for almost four-fifths of the country's population. The number of Muslim beggars is significant as compared to their overall population in India, which stands at 17.22 crore as per the last Census.

A majority of the Muslim beggars are women, which is contrary to the national trend, where there are fewer women beggars compared to men.

Earlier, reports have indicated that Muslims have the lowest living standard in India, and spend less than ₹33 every day. The steadily increasing Muslim population in India is neglected, reported The Economist.
Riaz Haq said…
75% of #India's #Muslims live below the poverty line. #Modi #BJP via @CatchNews

In another effort to counter the anti-minority image of the Modi government, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi visited Muslim-dominated Mewat in Haryana last week for a "progress panchayat". Recently, Mewat had witnessed a communal flare up.

Naqvi said that minority empowerment is 'Raj Dharma' of his government while he inaugurated a 100-bed girls hostel and laid the foundation stone of a higher secondary school.

Poverty is the biggest challenge for the minorities as 75% of Muslims live below the poverty line and discrimination based on caste, religion and region still exist in India, admitted Naqvi.

When a minister admits to a problem, it is time for some introspection. So here is a reality check:


- Number of Muslim students who appeared for the bi-annual basic literacy assessment test in August 2015.

- Of this, only 36,84,253, or 69% successfully passed the test.

- In Punjab, which is soon going to elections, only 49% could pass the test.

- The literacy rate of Muslims in India.

- The national average is 64.8%.

- Additionally, 1 in 4 Muslim students in the age group 6-14 years either never attended school or dropped out.

- "Muslim parents are not averse to modern or mainstream education and to sending their children to affordable Government schools. They do not necessarily prefer to send children to Madarsas. However, the access to Government schools for Muslim children is limited. Schools beyond primary level are few in Muslim localities. Girl schools are fewer," said the government in Lok Sabha in May 2016.

- Or more, is the share of Muslim male workers who are engaged as street vendors to earn their livelihood.

- The national average is less than 8%.

- "Self-employment (which falls under the unorganised sector of the economy) is the main source of income for the Muslim community," says the government.

- Out of all socio-religious categories, Muslims participate more in production (especially textile, tobacco), sales related activities as against professional, clerical, managerial and technical jobs. This leads to vulnerable job conditions for the community.

Rs 1,000
- The amount of money the union government spent in modernising madrasas in the past seven years, according to data-journalism website IndiaSpend.

- There are also nearly 24 schemes/initiatives for educational empowerment of Muslims run by the ministry of Minority Affairs.

- However, unspent funds, sometimes due to refusal to take part in initiatives or lack of project proposals, is a major problem in the path of the minority, caste and tribal development.

- For instance, according to Right to Information filed by IndiaSpend, about Rs 2.8 lakh crore of Dalit/tribal development fund remained unspent for the past 35 years.

Clearly, Naqvi has a lot of work to do ahead to change the situation.
Riaz Haq said…
Skype keeping #Indians connected to their families in #Pakistan. #Internet #Technology via @htTweets

Partition in 1947 displaced populations, divided families. According to a Dawn 2012 report, ‘North India and South Pakistan’, every fifth person in Sindh belongs to second or third-generation migrants from India, particularly Uttar Pradesh. Even till 1949, the idea of a border had not solidified; the question of legal status did not arise till 1949. People who went to visit relatives and decided to delay their return could not come back and began to be counted as Pakistani citizens. Four wars and other stand-offs and an uninterrupted history of quarrel have, however, hardened the divide. The recent Uri attack has made Indo-Pak relations hit a new low.

In such times how does an Indian family talk to or meet his Pakistani cousins? Air, train and bus travel –– at the mercy of political temperatures between both countries –– often stand snapped. ‘Trunk calls’, that ’70s perversity where one trekked to the local booth and shelled out Rs 400 for a 10-minute talk, or booked an international call days in advance on the neighbour’s phone, was thankfully over by the ’80s. Direct telephony between India and Pakistan had begun. But with the social media revolution of the 2000s, families in India and Pakistan have started to develop a more immediate connection over WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook
“Amma prefers the telephone,” says Abdullah, Naseem Ali’s son, punching the keys of his smartphone to show his Facebook page where he and his wife, Nayab are in matching white for a bash at their new hotel. His relatives from Pakistan, mainly his grand-uncle’s family, and his sister, have thumbed their ‘likes’. A quick round of “haalchaal (how are you)” and “khairyat (all well?)” conversations with his relatives in Karachi and Islamabad works for him. “No politics,” he says firmly. “We don’t talk politics.”


For the present generation, the connection with their across-the-border family is close, but loose. When Cousin Ahmad sees Cousin Javed across the screen, of course they smile. When they meet, they will, of course, hug. But it is more about being part of a network, than a feeling of being family.
“In large measure, the generation who grew up together, or played together, and for whom Partition was a wrench, are gone or dying,” says veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi. In his recently published book, Being the Other: The Muslim in India, he talks of his aunt, Alia Askari, and his helpless gesture – the sending of an email asking her to take care of herself on receiving the news of her husband, Kazi Imam’s death: “If we tried we would have got visas to attend his funeral. But we did not. The sheer habit of living in different countries with obstacles in travel increases distance exponentially. Dearest relatives take up residence only in the mists of memory….”


In the time of civil war, how did a Jaffna Tamil talk to his family in India? He probably couldn’t. How does a North Korea man speak to his South Korean cousin? He probably wouldn’t. But there are families in both countries who will not watch the weather vane and shut out the other. Saleem Siddiqui, a retired Indian Oil salesman in Delhi, and his sisters in Karachi, talk to each other every week.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan has 2nd largest population of migrants from #India. More #Indian #Muslims, minorities migrate than #Hindus

India is the top source of international migrants, with one-in-twenty migrants worldwide born in India. As of 2015, 15.6 million people born in India were living in other countries. India has been among the world’s top origin countries of migrants since the United Nations started tracking migrant origins in 1990. The number of international Indian migrants has more than doubled over the past 25 years, growing about twice as fast as the world’s total migrant population.

Nearly half of India’s migrants are in just three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and the United States. About 3.5 million Indians live in the UAE, the top destination country for Indian migrants. Over the past two decades, millions of Indians have migrated there to find employment as laborers. Pakistan has the second-largest number of migrants, with 2 million.

Almost 2 million more live in the U.S., making up the country’s third-largest immigrant group. Among Indian Americans, nearly nine-in-ten were born in India. As a whole, Indian Americans are among the highest educated and have some of the highest income among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

India is also one of the world’s top destinations for international migrants. As of 2015, about 5.2 million immigrants live in India, making it the 12th-largest immigrant population in the world. The overwhelming majority of India’s immigrants are from neighboring countries such as Bangladesh (3.2 million), Pakistan (1.1 million), Nepal (540,000) and Sri Lanka (160,000).

India’s religious minorities have been more likely to migrate internationally. Religious minorities make up a larger share of India’s international migrant population than they do among the nation’s domestic population, according to 2010 Pew Research Center estimates. For example, about 19% of the Indian international migrant population was Christian, compared with only 3% of the population in India. Similarly, an estimated 27% of the Indian international migrant population was Muslim, compared with 14% of the population in India. The reverse is true for Hindus: Only 45% of India’s international migrant population was Hindu, compared with 80% of the population in India.
Riaz Haq said…
I Am A Practicing Muslim. My Concerns Right Now For India Are... by Indian Journalist Rana Ayub

My family was forced to move from the cosmopolitan Sahar village to the rather lower middle class Deonar which was considered safer. My brother and my father applied for a credit card thrice while we lived in that area and were which was rejected on all occasions.

We were told later that these companies have specific instructions to not issue cards to Muslims living in 'such' areas. The building in which we stayed was next to the famous Deonar dumping ground and the abattoir from where the stench would fill the neighbourhood. But we and many like us continued to stay there because it was "safe".

Despite maintaining the best of hygiene, we had to live with the stink and airborne diseases. BMC workers who would mark their presence every morning in the swanky neighbourhoods of Mumbai like Peddar Road didn't mind taking days off in our neighbourhood with the garbage piling up because we (the Muslims and our many lower middle classes companions) could live with it.

Another problematic assertion in Naseer's column is that Muslims must stop feeling victimized. I have and continue to believe as a Muslim who has had to bear two communal riots that the community, like most communities in India, has been resilient and has chosen to put its dreaded past behind it, voting in every election for a change. But when every day you have videos emerging asking Muslims to chant "Bharat Mata ki Jai" before they are thrashed and cattle traders are lynched in public, the Muslim of the country does not feel a healing touch on the scars of the past.

If indeed we are so concerned about the plight of Muslims, their education, hygiene, then the topic of discussion should be to ensure that Muslim-dominated areas, government schools for Muslims have the same level of cleanliness and attention paid to them as other areas of Swachh Bharat. Muslims in this country have moved beyond the pain of the Babri demolition, but if the well-being of Muslims is indeed the criteria, those in power move on from Ayodhya and lets discuss corruption in the Waqf Board whose proceeds could help get Muslims access to higher education and a better status in society.

The alleged participation of Indian Muslims in ISIS is 0.0002 percent of the total number across the globe. To fault them for this and use it as an excuse to deny the 99.99 percent Muslims a dignified life is the worst one can offer to one of the largest minority in the country which has a glorious past in the country's freedom struggle. And which is now, as I keep hearing from many around me, leaving me feeling like a "second-class citizen".

(Rana Ayyub is an award-winning investigative journalist and political writer. She is the author of 'Gujarat Files', a book on the politics of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in Gujarat.)
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian barbarity from Gill to Kalluri #Sikhs #Muslims #Adivasi #Kashmir #Gujarat #Chhattisgarh … via @georgiastraight

by Gurpreet Singh

Thousands of innocent Muslims were slaughtered by mobs led by BJP activists. This came after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire and burned, leaving more than 50 passengers dead. The Modi government promptly blamed the incident on Muslim fundamentalists and dubbed it a terrorist attack.

The BJP not only accused Pakistan of aiding and abetting the crime, but also charged suspects with terrorism-related crimes. However, those involved in well-organized violence against Muslims were spared being charged under antiterror law.

When I asked Gill why those who killed Muslims were never charged for terrorism, he said that the antiterror law didn’t apply to them.

Gill was glorified and became a celebrity for ending Sikh extremism and his admirers continue seeing him as a man who resolutely fought against terrorism. But they won’t ever dare to question why he did not take on terrorism perpetuated by Hindu groups using similar techniques that were frequently applied to deal with Sikh separatists.


Ever since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, there has been a huge increase in cases of violence and terror by Hindu fanatics. Neither Gill nor his supporters who were so perturbed by terrorism in Punjab raised a question over the Hindu militancy back then, nor they have raised it ever since the menace has spread across India under Modi. So much so, this government is also trying to give back-door amnesty to Hindu extremists charged and arrested for bombings.

The extra-judicial measures widely used against Sikh militants to deliver quick justice were not even considered to deal with them.

While the mainstream media is too busy paying tributes to Gill, a senior police officer in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, Inspector General S.R.P Kalluri, is being patronized on similar lines. He is posted in a state that is under the influence of Maoist insurgents.

Chhattisgarh is one of several states with a sizable number of indigenous communities. Their traditional lands sit over natural resources and that’s why they continue to face eviction by the extraction industry with the backing of the Indian establishment. Due to the structural violence against them, many are forced to join Maoist movement.

Much like the Sikhs, who merely form two percent of the Indian population, the tribals, with only eight percent of the population, can easily be bothered by the government and security agencies to assure the Hindu majority of peace and prosperity.

In the meantime, Muslims continue to face persecution every day. Islamophobia in the western society has made it easier for Modi and Indian forces to target them. Apart from nonstate actors who often threaten and assault Muslims for eating beef, which is considered blasphemous by orthodox Hindus, the police are in the habit of seeing them as potential terrorists. Particularly in Muslim-dominated Kashmir where a fight for self-determination has been going on for years and whee the army and its vigilantes openly attack people in the name of national unity and integrity.

The connection between KPS and Kalluri suggests that India has become a majoritarian democracy where the interest of the Hindus is safeguarded all the time to ensure electoral victory. Though officially India is a secular democracy, it has repeatedly shown signs of being a Hindu state inclined toward keeping minorities under its boots. This is so that 80 percent of the population that believes in Hinduism (read Hindu nationalism) can be swayed by the ruling classes in the name of nationalism.

A true democracy is inclusive and considerate of all, including those on the margins, and not just the majority.
Riaz Haq said…
Mar 20 2018
Sabrina Toppa

Pakistan’s Pashtun belt has many extended families depending on one person to make ends meet, Umer says. “Most of the time, 30-50 members of an extended family are dependent on a single worker’s salary,” adds 22-year-old Sajjad Hussain, a student from Waziristan. The burden is much higher on Pashtun families.“The main reason they go abroad is because there are no job opportunities in Waziristan.” The region is beset by economic underdevelopment and the fall-out of Pakistani military operations and U.S. drone strikes, and there are few industries to employ young men outside of subsistence agriculture. Residents of Waziristan often migrate to other provinces in Pakistan in search of economic security, but often return empty-handed. “They’re living overseas for five to six years because life is better there,” Sajjad says.


Today, Pakistan is the second-largest exporter of migrant labour in South Asia, and remittances account for 7% of the country’s GDP. In 2017, approximately half a million Pakistanis migrated overseas through legal channels, though it is estimated that a far higher number sought out migration through irregular channels. Many Pakistanis spend up to USD 9,000 to find a job in countries like Saudi Arabia — in some cases spending 14 times their monthly salary for the opportunity to work abroad.


Pakistani migrants pay some of the highest recruitment fees in the world for the opportunity to work abroad, says Nasir Iqbal, an Islamabad-based researcher who has studied the cost of Gulf migration. Migrants who rely on friends or family to find jobs often pay astronomical recruitment fees, resulting in asset depletion and heavy debt traps. Part of the problem derives from the fact that most Pakistani migrants organise their jobs outside of the government’s official channels – raising the cost exponentially. If a migrant pursues labour migration through formal means, he normally pays $200-$900 for a bundle of services, the two largest components of which are visa fees and the recruitment agent’s fee. To go to Saudi Arabia outside official channels, the average labourer spends upwards of $4,000 toward the cost of migration. To reach the UAE, the amount is $2,000 on average. Migrants seeking jobs in Saudi Arabia are required to work through a licensed recruitment agency in Pakistan and the Saudi embassy, but some skirt this altogether.
Riaz Haq said…
There are more Indian migrants living in Pakistan than the United States,now%20live%20in%20the%20US.

While many Indian migrants move to far-flung, wealthy countries like the US, Canada, and the UK, a large number of them ends up right next door in Pakistan. According to a new study by Pew Research, in 2015, Pakistan was home to the second-largest number of Indian migrants after the United Arab Emirates.

In the past 25 years, the number of international Indian migrants has more than doubled, growing nearly twice as fast as the world’s total migrant population. In 2015, 15.6 million people born in India were living in another country; that means one in every 20 migrants globally was born in India.

In a 2010 study, Pew Research found that India’s religious minorities were migrating at a much higher rate than Hindus, who made up 80% of the country’s population. About 19% of the migrants from India are Christian, though they form only 3% of the country’s population. Also, Muslims made up 27% of the Indian migrant population living abroad, compared with roughly 14% of the population in India.

By far the largest numbers of Indian migrants—about 3.5 million— live in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan is the second-most common destination with two million, while 1.97 million Indian migrants now live in the US.

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