24 Sep 2021 00:00:00 AM Breaking News
Special police force created for the protection of minoritiesNGOs urge the EU to act over human rights abuses in Pakistan Husband throws hot water over the woman who converted to Islam to marry himChristian mother of four kidnaped on her way to homeCross removed from Church in Pakistan during the dedication.Anti-forced conversion bill draws concern from clerics Pakistan: Another Christian woman accused of blasphemy for forwarding a text UN designates day to commemorate victims of acts of violence based on religion Two Christian girls kidnapped at gunpoint outside their house Minor Christian girl forcibly converted to Islam recovered from kidnapper and sent to shelter homeNational Assembly passes unanimous resolution condemning attack on Hindu temple Another Christian girl kidnapped and converted to IslamPakistan’s blasphemy laws equated to ethnic cleansing, conference hears Quran now a compulsory in Punjab’s schools and collegesHindu woman should be returned to her parents after alleged forced marriage, court rulesPakistan court allows 2nd marriage of Christian man in Pakistan EU calls on Pakistan to intervene in release of blasphemy accusedReligious affairs ministry says religious conversion before 18 should be allowedPakistan: Christian girl raped at schoolAnother Christian Minor Girl Sent with her Abductor by the Pakistan High CourtPakistan: Muslim Doctor forcefully converts 13-year-old Christian girl to work in kitchenPakistani Supreme Court nationalises Christian college Christian couple acquitted of blasphemy charges Pakistani court send minor Christian girl with her abductor Bill before Sindh assembly calls for all 18-year-olds to be marriedTolerant majority needs to take charge of ending religious discrimination, retired Justice says Pakistan: Christian mother of five abducted and severely abusedChristian mother concerned her abducted daughter may be sold if not recovered soon Muslim nurses took over a chapel and threatened to convert it to a mosqueEU concerned over Pakistan’s rising blasphemy casesPakistan retained as country of particular concern in USCIRF report Sindh Assembly passes resolution condemning blasphemous caricaturesImran Khan says insulting Mohammed should be same as denying HolocaustTwo Pakistani Christian nurses charged with blasphemy offencesMother of kidnapped 13-year-old accuses police of not finding her daughter Pakistan: CDA demolishes church in Islamabad during LentPakistan: Petition filed to make the death penalty the only punishment for blasphemy in the Pakistan Penal CodePakistan: Police force pastor and congregation to shut down Church Christian man granted bail after blasphemy accusations Christian Family attacked by a Muslim land grabber Protests erupt after inmate charged with blasphemyJudge issued certificate needed for religious conversion, parliamentary committee proposesPrime Minister’s aide says there is no concept of forced conversion in PakistanTwo Christians charged under blasphemy law for distributing Christian literature Sentence of 5-10 years’ jail being considered for those involved in forced conversionCommittee rejects Protection of the Rights of Religious Minorities (PRRM) Bill Pakistan: Christian staff nurse and gospel singer accused of committing blasphemy Christian father begging police to help get his daughter backChristian girl threatens to burn herself if she doesn’t get justice Pakistan: Woman kills her husband and two daughters Two Christian sisters martyred for not converting to IslamThree Christians charged with blasphemy on Christmas DayA Christian man charged with blasphemy acquitted after 11 years Pakistan rejects US designation on religious freedom blacklistMuslim man shoots Christian woman dead for refusing to marry himPoliceman told Christian father to be happy for his daughter’s conversion to Islam instead of registering a case against the kidnapper Supreme Country unhappy over reconstitution of minorities’ commissionPakistan: Christian family foil attempt to kidnap their daughter Pakistani Senate panel to hold sessions on forced conversion in SindhMuslim man wants to forcefully marry Christian girlBill for minorities rejected by senate panelAnother Pakistani Christian woman escapes her kidnapperChristian hospital cleaner accused of stealing 2.2 million rupees worth of medicinePrime Minister Imran Khan calls for rapists to be hanged publicly PML-N demands public execution of those convicted in child sex abuse cases Man calling himself Jesus charged under the blasphemy law Pakistani Christian man sentenced to death for 'blasphemous texts'Christian mother and son 11 arrested after allegedly stealing gold and cash from employer’s house Police arrest Christian man accused of blasphemyPakistani Christian leaders condemn Quran burning in Sweden Pakistan: Annual pilgrimage at national Marian shrine in Mariamabad cancelledHuman Rights Watch asks Imran Khan to amend the blasphemy law Minor marriages and their conversion is an important issue, CII chairman saysNew curriculum to be implemented next year for grade one to fiveChristian domestic servant beaten for not converting to IslamPakistani Christian mother killed by police officerYoung Christian factory worker killed by his Muslim colleagueComplaints lodged against Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed for committing blasphemyGovernor of Punjab announces opening of Mariamabad as tourist sitePakistan’s National Assembly adopts resolution for adding Quaid-e-Azam’s speech to syllabusOn National Minorities Day, President Alvi says minorities will be treated equally Pakistan National Assembly Unanimously Passes Resolution to Write Khatamun Nabiyyin With Hazrat Muhammad (SAW)Pakistani minorities mark National Minority Day with mixed feelingsPakistan’s Punjab Assembly passes resolution on Quaid’s Aug 11 speechPakistani legislators oppose bill they passed three weeks agoPakistani court sparks outrage by ruling Christian girl, 14, must stay married to alleged abductorPakistani Christian man charged with blasphemyUSCIRF outraged at courtroom killing of US citizen in Pakistan over blasphemy chargesMan accused of blasphemy In Pakistan shot dead at courtPakistan: Punjab govt asked to set minimum age of marriage for girls at 18Punjab Assembly passes bill allowing inspection of printing presses and confiscation of any publicationShould minorities leave Pakistan?Blasphemy complaint against opposition politician for saying ‘all religions are equalPakistan’s National Assembly adopts resolution for teaching Holy Quran with translation in universitiesPope 'saddened' as Hagia Sophia reverts to mosqueCouncil of Islamic Ideology in Pakistan will consider whether public funds can be used to build a Hindu templePakistani Christian man shot dead by neighbour for buying house in Muslim dominated areaIslamic seminary issues Fatwa against construction of Hindu Temple in IslamabadUniversity professor arrested under Blasphemy accusationMuslims attack a church and desecrate the Cross in PakistanChristian mother complains to Police about her daughter's abductionPakistani Minister calls for those who Blaspheme against Muhammad to beheadedHuman rights situation in Pakistan "Grealty worrisome”Pakistani Governor makes Quran teaching with translation compulsory in Punjab University
Pakistan Christian News
Qamar Rafiq

OP-ED

A cloud of doom, on minority day!


During chilling wave of atrocities and escalated intolerance towards religious minorities in Pakistan, Christians along with other minority groups brace to observe the minority day across the world. On August 11, Pakistan officially observes the National Minorities Day to honour and pay homage to the services and sacrifices, rendered by the religious minorities in Pakistan. Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic Federal Minister for minorities who was assassinated in March 2011, campaigned to have Aug. 11 declared as National Minorities Day in 2009. Nine years after the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the situation of religious minorities in Pakistan remains calamitous and opaque. The firm campaign of Mr Bhatti for religious minorities to improve the situation of freedom of religion or belief in Pakistan continues to be tarnished as the government doing little to guarantee security and freedom to religious minorities guarded under the International Conventions of Human rights.

The minority day also reminds us the historic speech of founder of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah at the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947. In his speech, Quaid-e-Azam said, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” This day also presents us an opportunity to equate present situation of minorities in the light of our founding father’s historic speech, specifically, the role of the Government to safeguard the fundamental rights, safety, security, honour, and liberty of minorities.

Despite of serious challenges faced by Christians and other minorities, they continue to serve in forces and civil services, medical, teaching and judiciary with passion and integrity which has brought a proud moment for the entire Pakistani nation. The commendable role played by our heroes from minorities in the nation-building like Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry, Brig (R) Simon Sahriff, Justice Alvin Bobby, Rana Bahubhali Bhagwandas and Robert Cornelius, Dr James Shera, Sister Ruth Lewis, Johnson Bernard, Miss Nicole, Dr Peter Johnson David and Nadib Gill shows Pakistani Christians and other minorities are playing a vigorous role in representing Pakistan both nationally and internationally in a positive light by creating a soft and inclusive image of the country. Furthermore, the Christian institute have also served Pakistani nation for decades by educating all Pakistani students, without discrimination on grounds of race, religion, or creed. They have played their part in developing and uplifting the country, by generating countless leaders in the spheres of business, politics, sciences, and arts.

The unprecedented escalation of intolerance and hatred towards minorities in Pakistan is sending an unbelievably bad message of the freedom of religion and human rights across the World

States bear a divine responsibility for ensuring that human rights are recognized, and resources are pledged to enable Parliamentarian to advocate for right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) more effectively through increasing dialogue and Parliamentary mechanism. The courageous campaign of Salaman Taseer, Governor Punjab appealing for the pardon of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, which cost him life describes freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) have no space in an intolerant society. Mr. Taseer will always be remembered as a symbol of courage and voice for the voiceless.

Although Department for International Foreign Development (DIFD) has pumped millions to improve the situation of freedom of religion or belief FoRB, religious intolerance and hatred text book material in Jinnah’s Pakistan – yet we see a murderer who killed aUS citizen accused for blasphemy charges and pleaded not guilty becomes a hero, yet we see a nationwide campaign to promote assassin and yet we see a minority member shot dead upon moving to a Muslim majority area has turned down minority day into a doom day. Broadened silence and zero response from Pakistan Government on such vicious crimes against humanity in few weeks’ time has orchestrated Pakistan to face serious ramifications in future. The unprecedented escalation of intolerance and hatred towards minorities in Pakistan is sending an unbelievably bad message of the freedom of religion and human rights across the World. Pakistan’s constitution stretches to offer the space to the freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for minority groups. In addition, country is also bound by numerous international treaties that guards the rights and religious liberty of minorities. However, there is a vast difference between what is written and what is practised. Freedom of religion is a rich land which plants us to bloom with grace, love, and kindness.

Writer is based in London – Has earned MBA degree with specialization on leadership in 21st Century organisations from Copenhagen Business School and have studied health informatics from Johns Hopkin University

Courtesy: Daily Times

https://dailytimes.com.pk/652392/a-cloud-of-doom-on-minority-day/