The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the 6th most populated country in the world, has a population of 190 million. Muslims make 97 per cent of the population whereas minorities namely Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Ahmadiyya and Parsis account for 3 per cent of the population.
As a succession of governments failed to maintain economic stability, strengthen democracy and democratic institutions, enforce law, hold free and fair elections, fight poverty, curb corruption, proliferate education, ensure speedy dispensation of justice, give equality of opportunity to the country’s religious and ethnic minorities, and a catalogue of failures in several other areas, invited four military interventions since the country became independent from colonial rule in 1947.
Late General Zia-ul Haq, one of the military dictators, introduced blasphemy laws in Pakistan under which if convicted the accused may be sentenced to death or life imprisonment. The widespread abuse of the disputed laws has provoked suggestions from some international human rights organizations that the laws be repealed. On the 4th of January 2011 Salman Taseer, a moderate governor of Pakistan was gunned down in Islamabad by Mumtaz Qadri, one of Mr. Taseer’s security detail, after Mr. Taseer stated in a press conference that he would try to seek presidential clemency for Aasia bibi, a mother of five on death row in Pakistan after having been accused of committing blasphemy.
Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s only Christian minister of minorities’ affairs, and a long-time critic of Pakistan blasphemy laws was gunned down on the 2nd of March 2011.
Hindus get no better treatment than Christians. According to the Human rights Commission of Pakistan’s 2012 report at least 25 Hindu girls are abducted every month.
There is a growing sense of unease and depravation among minorities’ communities. They feel increasingly scared and vulnerable to persecution. Minorities places of worship namely churches, mosques of Ahmadiyya Muslims, a minority sect in Islam, and Hindu temples in the past have been attacked and in some cases torched by angry mobs.
Global Minorities Alliance (GMA) urges Pakistan government to address minorities’ rights violation in Pakistan. We call upon Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to introduce measures aimed at to stopping the rising abuse of Pakistan blasphemy laws.
We demand urgent release of Aasia bibi. We also stand in solidarity with the oppressed Hindus, Sikhs and Parsis in Pakistan.
GMA is committed to promoting interfaith harmony in Pakistan, as we believe the plight of the religious minorities in Pakistan will only worsen if genuine efforts to repair the fractured inter-religious were not launched.
Shahid Khan | Google | Global Minorities Alliance