Minorities Rights in Pakistan by Komal Ahmed

The idea of human rights evolved step by step parallel to the improvement of people over the years. We have countries with a diverse range of people living in them, belonging to different religions, caste and cultures. In Pakistan too, minorities are living in various parts of the country. Our founder, Quaid-e-Azam specifically mentioned time and time again that minorities in Pakistan are given all their rights as indicated by Islam. Moreover, the constitution of Pakistan ensures freedom of religion to every one of the residents of Pakistan . It represents equality of all residents regardless of religion, tribe, caste, clan, gender and language. To put a stamp on it, the white in the Pakistani flag represents all minorities. It is a reminder to every citizen, that they, too, are a part of us and should be respected like any other human being. Over the years, however, we all seemed to have forgotten this reality. Minorities in Pakistan have suffered and are suffering, and if we don’t do something about it, it is ultimately our country that will suffer.

Ninety five percent of Pakistan’s population is Muslim while the remaining 5% contains Hindus, Christians, Parsis, and a couple of different divisions . Concerns of religious minorities are exacerbated by the negligible or zero portrayal of these communities in key open foundations. Christians and Hindus are likewise vulnerable against mistreatment under the blasphemy laws in spite of the fact that there aren’t other explicit legal arrangements that objective Christians or Hindus. Numerous people allot punishments towards individuals from these religious networks dependent on profaning of the Holy Quran or an ungodly remark allegedly at the Prophet. Regardless of whether these charges have any believability can’t be resolved as a large portion of these occurrences may be ‘settled’ outside of court2. Consider the case of Asia Bibi. The blasphemy charges on her were a simple act of religious discrimination and she had to suffer eight long years in prison. People who stood up in support, our very own Governor Salman Taseer, were shot and Mumtaz Qadri, his bodyguard who shot him, was glorified. After Asia bibi’s acquittal, the entire country was in a crisis situation, because the religious extremists had blocked roads and was out to protest. Is this what Islam teaches us? The answer is a straight and clear no. A religion which puts human life in such high regard and is a religion of peace has not ever taught anyone to kill or hurt anyone.

Numerous Pakistani residents have been internally displaced for a considerable length of time. In 2001, it was accounted for that many Hindus needed to escape their homes because of violence and rioting by Muslim crowds in their neighborhoods. Inside a year, right around 5,000 Hindus needed to leave their homes in Lasbela to discover shelter somewhere else. Furthermore, as of late, over a hundred Hindus have fled to India and are looking for refugee status2.

There are occurrences in which Hindu young ladies disappear from their home or working environment and later reemerge as converted and wedded Muslim ladies. Religious radicals kidnap these young ladies from their homes and convert them to Islam. Take the case of Kasturi, a young lady from Tharparkar, who was purportedly seized and assaulted by the son of a nearby powerful proprietor. After the case had turned out to be open, the landowner proposed to convert Kasturi to Islam and to wed her to one of his children. Transformation for this situation just filled in as an approach to disguise the rape . A further example where religion does not help us in understanding the circumstance is the situation of Chandavati, a mother of two little girls, who was, as per her own story, was abducted and kept prisoner for a half year. To stop an examination concerning her disappearance, Chandavati was converted to Islam and wedded to one of her kidnappers3.

Integral to any noteworthy change is the requirement for the state and political organizations to work autonomously as opposed to under the standard of religion. Pakistan’s laws and guidelines have turned out to be soiled by principles that some consider ‘holy decrees’. In any case, it is these decrees that should be rethought and rebuilt so as to have a comprehensive constituent framework. The administration ought to guarantee that the minorities face no issues in practicing their religious and social exercises. They ought to appreciate opportunity to rehearse their religion. Such measures will undoubtedly bring generosity for the neighborhood populace and help to advance a democratic picture of the nation up street.

Contributor: Komal Ahmed

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