QUETTA, Pakistan, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- More than two dozen Hindu families have asked for visas and political asylum in India because of kidnappings and target killings are on the rise, officials say.
Their plight was made known at a seminar in Quetta called the "Provincial Conference on Balochistan Crisis," Dawn News reported.
Saeed Ahmed Khan, regional director for the federal Ministry of Human Rights, said Hindus have lived in Balochistan for centuries, but in recent weeks several members of the minority community have been kidnapped or slain, forcing them to seek asylum in India.
"As many as 27 Hindu families from Balochistan have sent applications to the Indian Embassy for asylum in India," Khan said.
Balochistan is a mountainous region comprising parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. It is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian people who moved into the area from the west about A.D. 1000.
Hazara Democratic Party chairman Abdul Khaliq Hazara said more than 100 groups involved in kidnappings for ransom were operating in Balochistan.