Shamim Mahmood – Christian human rights activist – writes about the disparity between Pakistan minorities and the majority Sunni Muslim population. Shamim focuses on the Christian minority which lately has been the victims of horrific acts of Islamic Supremacism.
By Shamim Mahmood
Sent 8/30/2016 1:31 AM
Islamabad: Former Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Chaudhry Abdul Majeed said that Pakistan policy regarding Kashmir seems to have failed miserably. Talking in a seminar held under International Lobbying Group Youth for Kashmir, Kashmir’s leadership unanimous call that the parliament should form a national policy of Kashmir, which the government cannot alter and the chairmanship of Kashmir Committee should be withdrawn from Maulana Fazalur Rehman. “We don’t accept a Kashmir Committee, which does not include a Kashmiri,” they added. On the other hand, Foreign Office said that Pakistan has always raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at the UN. There is no doubt that Pakistan has always raised India’s human rights violation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) at all levels and said that it is not India’s internal issue but international issue.
Let me give you a clear picture of human rights violation in Pakistan. Christians and minorities in Islamic Republic of Pakistan are often targeted, hated, mistreated, prosecuted all the way from the workplace, in schools, playgrounds, in communities and all the way in the system right to the top. My main concern is about Christians, so they are ignored not only in Pakistan but forgotten worldwide as they are often refused by Western countries and rejected their asylum. For example, tens of thousands Syrian, Afghan, Pakistani and Egyptian Muslims got refugee status in Canada, Australia and European countries but how often do you see Christian refugees from the same countries. Thousands are leading a miserable life and looking for their future in Thailand, but UNHCR and so called international human rights defenders, are silent about their status. Where is Germany the current Chancellor Angela Markel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and even Pope Francis, who asked Catholics to accommodate one Muslim refugee family each?
If Muslims are unsafe in their own countries, how can one consider that Christians are safe in a Sunni Muslim dominated country, Pakistan? Blasphemy laws are the “official hanging sword” and often misused to kill minorities in Pakistan. According to the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) an estimated number has gone to 1,470; those have been charged under the stringent blasphemy laws of Pakistan, until 2015 and 1,116 are recorded in Punjab province alone. NCJP sources added that around 12 are facing death sentences including Asia Bibi, Sawan Masih, Zafar, Anjam Naz and Javed Naz (ALL Christians). More than fifty people accused of blasphemy were murdered during their judicial trials. Governor Punjab, Salman Taseer and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti were killed for talking about this law and its misuse.
In the recent past, churches and Christians’ colonies have been attacked and set ablaze. A Christian couple was burnt alive accused of blasphemy. Christian girls are routinely kidnapped, raped and forcefully converted to Islam. The government failed to protect lives and properties of Minorities. Government usually lauds about protection and rights given to minorities but practically have done nothing. When government representatives raise a voice about the human rights violation in Kashmir, [it might be] better to think about the human rights violations in Pakistan first.
Minorities are not given a right to choose their representative through secret belt [perhaps ballot] vote. It is a violation of basic human right. There is no minister to protect for minorities rights at the federal level. A five percent quota is announced by the previous government but not implemented, most recently; during the recent Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police Rapid Response Force recruitment; IG Islamabad totally ignored this quota. Religious Minister and Minister for Interfaith Harmony at the Federal level are both Muslim. To fulfill the GSP plus status requirement, the government appointed a retired judge from the same faith as the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission. Later in political interest, the government appointed a Christian person as a Federal Minister for Human Rights. Taking the oath as a chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board (EPTB), Mr. Saddique-ul-Farooq, -- PML-N leader -- assured all Hindu and Sikh Communities of the world of protection of their properties through impeccable measures. If the government is really interested to serve these minorities group, why don’t they appoint any minority person who can look after their inheritance and can even serve better its communities? [Of interest in relation to minority property in Pakistan: HERE and HERE]
A human rights activist, Kashif Nawab, Director (SATH [See Also Facebook]) rejected the measures taken by the present government and said that the government should take minorities in confidence while appointing heads of the institutions like chairman ETPB. He demanded the government to replace Minister for Interfaith Harmony, Peer Amin ul Hasnat and appoint any minority person as well as chairman ETPB. The government should ensure to implement 5 percent quota at all levels. [Perhaps] the government wants minorities to fight for their rights like Kashmiris, he added.
Shamim Mahmood Editor
Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
Edited by John R. Houk
All links and any text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.
SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone
© Shamim Mahmood