Islamabad: Pakistan is no land for non-Muslim people especially Hindus and Christians. Substantiating this statement political activist and member of Pakistan Minorities Alliance, Noel Malik, said that minorities especially Christians are facing constant discrimination and persecution by state and non-state agencies.
Noel Malik said, “They (Christians) are not secure, there is no safety. Discrimination and persecution is widespread. Blasphemy laws are still there. In fact, I feel the situation is deteriorating every day and minorities are finding it hard to sustain in Pakistan.
In an interview he said that Christians are facing atrocities, arbitrary detentions by the state, enforced disappearances and cold blood murder.
The Christian community in Pakistan is considered as second citizens and discriminated on grounds of religious beliefs and education and employment.
Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws are also used against religious minorities like Christians to suppress them in their own land. The law enforcement agencies are mute spectators to these things.
The Asia Bibi case is an example of how blasphemy laws are used to target people of the minority community even if they have done anything wrong. Asia Bibi was framed wrongly and she had threat to her life even after the highest court in Pakistan let her free.
Fortunately for her, she was able to flee with her life to Canada, where she can live a life of dignity, though it is not her land.
There were lots of protests and violence perpetuated by Muslim hardliners demanding that Asia Bibi be put to death for under the blasphemy laws.
Noel Malik said, “There is a fear that the Blasphemy law in Pakistan is being misused and you cannot talk about your rights there. A person who is born in a country wants all rights, safety and freedom like everybody else. Discrimination against minorities should end.”
The Human Rights Watch said, “The blasphemy-related violence against religious minorities, fostered in parts by government’s persecution and discriminatory laws is frequent.”
The United States Commission of International Religious Freedom has reported against Pakistan’s ill treatment of religious minorities.
It is interesting to note that these reports come at a time when most opposition leaders complaint that India is intolerant. After Pakistan was forced to free Abhinandan Varthaman after capturing him in POK, many intellectuals and opposition leaders praised Pakistan leader Imran Khan for fostering peace and harmony.
However, the reports coming from inside Pakistan do not suggest that the Islamic country is peaceful or harmonious, especially for the minority Christians and Hindus.
Some months back two Hindu girls were kidnapped and forced to marry Muslim men and also converted to Islam.