7 Mar :Stating that they do not wish to return to Pakistan due to Taliban’s tyranny in the tribal areas, a group 35 Hindus, nearly half of them women, from the neighbouring country have crossed over to India and asked the govt to allow them to settle in the country.
"We were living in Pakistan under extreme fear due to the domination of a strong group of Taliban who are running a parallel government," Jagdish Sharma, a resident of tribal area near Peshawar in Pakistan, said.
I Recounting their ordeal, he said "Hindus and Sikh families are not safe, especially our women. We preferred to migrate in India, at least here in India we know that our families will be safe."
The four families comprising 16 men, 16 women and three children crossed over to India during the last few days through the Attari check post and later went to Delhi where they got a one-year visa and permission to stay in Amritsar.
"We strongly urge the Government of India to allow us to stay here in India permanently, since we don’t want to move back in that hell where there is no life security," said Sharma.
Hardwari Lal, resident of Orkzai nearly 180 km from Peshawar, said, "I was running my grocery shop there which was forcibly taken over by the fundamentalists who also took possession of our entire property".
"Even Gurdwaras and Hindu temples are not safe and none of the priests dare to stay there for the daily prayers," Hardwari said, adding Pakistan Government had appointed local executive magistrates as caretakers for religious shrines in the tribal areas.
Rekha, a woman migrant from Peshawar, said she never ventured out of the house and lived in confinement due to the fear of fundamentalists.
"Being a girl I did not get any education, since girls are not allowed to attend school in the tribal area of Pakistan," she said, adding woman could not venture out without being clad from head to toe in a burqa.
"There is no life in the tribal areas of Pakistan, as there is no liberty for women to move about".
Numerous Hindu families were still languishing in the tribal areas as they are unable to get visa for India.
"Everybody has to appear before the Indian High Commission for the visa but for women it is difficult to venture out of the house in the tribal areas," they claimed.
"We strongly urge the Government of India to do the needful so that we could settle down in India and could re-establish our business here as there is no chance for us to go back to Pakistan," Hardwari said.