The Express Tribune
Published Date: Dec 10, 2014
What lies ahead?: ‘Pakistan unable to protect minorities’
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan was
created to protect a minority in the subcontinent but it has constantly
been lacking spaces for the minorities present in itself. It has been
unable to extend the same kind of protection to citizens of other
faiths, discussed experts in the Sustainable Development Policy
Institute’s (SDPI) seventeenth sustainable development conference.
Dr Sukhadeo Thorat of the Indian Council of Social Science Research,
Dr Nathalène Reynolds of the French Institute of Research on Africa and
Kenya, and Ahmad Salim, Mome Saleem and Dr Humaira Ishfaq of SDPI were
sharing their views on Tuesday at the launch ceremony of a report
titled, ‘Searching for security, the rising marginalisation of religious
communities in Pakistan’ in a session on the first day of the
“The report provides a baseline for minority issues,” said Dr Abid
Suleri, the executive director of the SDPI, adding that future of
minorities could only be discussed in the presence of a baseline.
The report states that though religious communities have suffered
discrimination in Pakistan for decades, their persecution has
intensified in recent years and has now reached critical levels.
Ishfaq added that this includes significant barriers to political
participation, failure to grant legal recognition to non-Muslim
marriages, unequal judicial procedures and the unwillingness of law
enforcement agencies to uphold legal protections against discrimination.
“Political participation of minorities will enable them to perform to
the fullest. At present, they come to parliament on reserved seats,
which confines them to work within party lines,” said Mome Saleem of the
The country’s blasphemy laws continue to be applied against many
Pakistanis, including disproportionate numbers from religious
minorities, with little respect for the rights of those accused and in
violation of Pakistan’s international legal commitments, the report
The environment in which minorities find themselves is characterised
by hate speech, frequent invocation of blasphemy laws and increasingly
violent attacks on places of worship, it adds.
Source : http://tribune.com.pk/story/804382/what-lies-ahead-pakistan-unable-to-protect-minorities/