Hindu Reporter in Pakistan Forced to Drink from Separate Glass in Office

Stories of discrimination and ill-treatment against Hindus in Pakistan are not new and another such case has come to light where a Hindu reporter in Pakistan was asked to drink water from a separate glass after his Muslim colleagues found out his religion.

The irony is that such incidents are happening even in the Muslim holy month of of Ramzan, which is supposed to be a time for piety, fasting and remembering the Almighty. Incidentally, another such incident of extreme intolerance took place in Pakistan a few days back where an old Hindu man was assaulted by a Pakistani cop for eating in public just before the Iftar evening meal.

As per Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune, Sahib Khan Oad a senior reporter with the Government news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) has been barred from drinking water in the same glass and sharing utensils with other Muslim staff.

Oad hails from Dadu district in Sindh province and has completed his Masters from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. He is now pursuing MPhil in mass communication from Sindh University. He was initially appointed as a reporter in APP Islamabad and was transferred to Hyderabad and then Karachi in April this year.

He explained, “Actually my name contains the word ‘Khan’ so everyone in the office initially thought I was Muslim.” The discriminatory attitude started soon after his younger son, Raj Kumar, visited his office and everyone found out that he was Hindu. “The bureau chief asked me to separate my drinking water glass in the office because some colleagues had reservations.”

Since Ramazan started, Oad’s work environment worsened. He is not allowed to sit at the same dining table at the time of Iftar and senior colleagues have suggested he bring his own plates and glasses if he wants to eat in the office. “I have now bought a separate glass and plate for the office,” he said.

Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler), an organisation that works for labour rights, has written a letter to federal information minister Pervaiz Rashid against the discriminatory attitude. “We are really shocked to know that a bureau chief of a government news agency  has pressurised a reporter to drink in a separate glass because he is Hindu,” wrote Piler executive director Karmat Ali.

Such incidents show the disparaging outlook of Muslim masses towards Hindus in Pakistan in general. It also breaks the myth that there is no untouchability in Islam and that it promotes universal brotherhood between humans.