The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday urged the Balochistan Government to address the concerns of non-Muslims living in the province in the wake of frequent abductions. ``Balochistan has long enjoyed considerable reputation as an area where non-Muslims have lived in relative peace and safety. No effort should be spared to ensure that that reputation remains untarnished,’’ HRCP said in a statement.

With a number of Hindus being abducted in the restive province over the past year, there is a growing apprehension within the community there amid reports of many seeking asylum in India. According to the HRCP statement, it has conveyed the concern among non-Muslim communities in the province over the recent increase in abductions of non-Muslims in Balochistan to Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.

The latest incidents include the abduction of Maharaj Lakhim Chand Garji of Qalat on December 21 and Rajeev Kumar from Noshki on January 10. While those abducting Mr. Lakhim Chand have asked his community to raise funds for his release, without mentioning any amount, the abductors of Mr. Kumar have not contacted the family so far.

``The families of the abducted individuals are obviously in great mental agony and fear for their safety. This spate of abductions has also increased a sense of insecurity and vulnerability across the non-Muslim population in the province,’’ HRCP chairperson Mehdi Hasan said; requesting the Chief Minister to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to allay the fears of non-Muslim citizens in Balochistan and restore a sense of security among them.