ISLAMABAD | March 5, 2012 : A total of 23 Hindus have been abducted in Balochistan province over the past few couple of days, forcing members of the minority community to migrate to other parts of Pakistan, an official has said.
Incidents of kidnapping for ransom and other heinous crimes have increased, Balochistan Home Secretary Naseebullah Bazai said.
Seventy people were abducted from Quetta Division alone during the past three months, he said.
Bazai told Dawn News channel that 53 of the 70 abducted people had been recovered while the others were yet to be traced.
He added that 23 members of the Hindu community were kidnapped from the province over a period of several months.
The rise in kidnappings had forced the Hindu community to migrate from Balochistan to other parts of the country, Bazai said.
An anti-kidnapping force had been formed to curb such incidents, he said.
Balochistan and Sindh provinces have sizeable Hindu populations.
Over the past few years, dozens of Hindus, most of them petty traders, have been kidnapped for ransom in Balochistan.
Several cases of forced conversion of Hindus have also been reported from Sindh.