Minorities in Pakistan are living in terror
Author : R. L Francis, President – Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM)
Those who always cry hoarse on Kashmir regarding violations of human rights and shed crocodile tears should also pay heed towards how minorities in Pakistan are being treated. Pakistan has a medieval ears law Blasphemous Act and under this act a mother of five children Asia Bibi has been given death sentence and so called saviours of human rights are silent. This is not the first instance when a non-Muslim has been punished under barbaric law. In 1994, a Christian youth Salamat Masih was punished under this act and this had attracted worldwide attraction.
This barbaric law was enacted during regime of Jia-ul-Haq and initially punishment was confined to life imprisonment only which was later increased to death sentence during Nawaj Sharif’s tenure in 1992. Under this act if any non-Muslim criticises Mohammad Sahib or Islam, he will be given death sentence. However, if any Muslim criticises other religions and their scriptures such as Guru Granth Sahib or Gita or Bible; he cannot be punished. In this way this act is discriminatory in nature and this law is being used to harass minorities in Pakistan for the last two decades.
Extremists and fanatics have warned Pakistan establishment if it tries to tamper with the law. They have deep influence in army and in administration. Christians are largest minority community in Pakistan and they are economically deprived sections. In Karachi during 2009, a section of Taliban sponsored extremists attacked on Christian settlement and killed many innocent people. They threatened him to accept Islam or be ready to embrace death. These extremists wanted to have Islamic Sharia Act to be implemented in whole of the Sindh.
Pakistan that had come on the name of religion, has completely failed. Minorities are constantly living under the shadow of guns and terror. Extremists Taliban wants to impose Islam at any cost. However, Vatican is silent. On the other hand whenever some stray incident takes place in India, they immediately intervene. Reality is that Hindu in India has been much tolerant and RSS, too, had good opinion about Christians. Such leaders who leaves no stone unturned should take leaf from Pakistan and should stop their activities.
It is the demand of hour that Vatican and other European nations should raise the issue of human rights violations of Christians in Pakistan. They should act fast to improve the economic status of Christians in the country. Most of the Christians in Pakistan belong to dalits and they had been converted during British era. Scotland church in 1855 had played pivotal role in converting untouchable ‘Chudas’ into Christianity. To convert them in to Christianity, Britishers had established a regiment as Chudas opposed their conversion. Chudas were considered martial tribes as mahars. Missionaries settled these converted Christians in Sialkot, Faisalabad, Islamabad, Multan, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Kota, Rawalpindi, and Hyderabad. After formation of Pakistan these Christians preferred to leave where they were living. However, their conditions are deplorable and are living in pathetic conditions.
It is not only Christians who are on target even Hindus are being targeted every now and then. Their number has halved after independence in 1947. Even those Muslims who opted to go to Pakistan from Bihar and other parts of India were not accepted. They are called mohajirs. It is irony that Mohammad Ali Jinna, father of nation of Pakistan, was mohajir. However, to save their existence mohair’s had to raise political establishment like ‘Mohajir Quomi Movement’. Jinna had given two nation theory but he did not want to discriminate on the basis of religion. But, their inheritors failed him.
At first Ahmadias were ousted from Pakistan and then Gurudwaras were broken. General Jia-ul-Haq had started intense Islamasation of Pakistan and this made lives of non-Muslims miserable in Pakistan. In such a situation how Pakistan can be allowed to raise issue of human rights violation In India? Pakistan has closed its eyes on the condition of non-Muslims in the country. It is to see what steps Pakistan government takes to save human rights of Asia Bibi.
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