Posters placed in front of UN office
Posters placed in front of UN office

Minorities in Pak face persecution, discrimination: Activists

ANI | Updated: Sep 27, 2018 01:06 IST

Geneva [Switzerland], Sep 27 (ANI): Activists from the Christian minority in Pakistan say they are being persecuted, discriminated and forced to leave the country.
Now living in exile, these members of the Christian community participated at the ongoing 39th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and demanded the safety of minorities in Pakistan, and emphasised on the abolition of blasphemy law.
Noyal Malik, a human rights defender and member of the Pakistan Minorities Alliance, who now lives in Italy, said: "Not only Christians, all minorities in Pakistan are facing discrimination and getting persecuted. They are feeling unsafe and are leaving the country. We have participated at the United Nations and request the Pakistan government to provide security and safety to the minorities, which are being denied to them as of now."
"The minorities in Pakistan are paying a huge price for safeguarding their own identity. They are living in fear and have no freedom. We are being offered jobs of sweepers in Pakistan," he added.
Pakistan remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for Christians, as Muslims forcibly convert Christian girls to get them married.
Christian families have, in turn, suffered numerous attacks for refusing to allow their daughters to marry Muslims.
Noyal said, "Blasphemy Law is being used by Muslims for their personal benefit. If someone is accusing other person of blasphemy, the complainant should also be put behind bars till the allegation gets confirmed. People are misusing blasphemy for their personal rivalry and forced marriages. A person files a complaint without having any witness. Take the case of Asia Bibi, who has been languishing in the jail, whereas the complainant is roaming freely".
Sharoon Lazer, President of the Pakistan Minorities Alliance, who lives in Malta, said: "Christians in Pakistan are facing discrimination and persecution. They are not getting proper rights as a Pakistani national should get. People are forced to migrate from the country. Blasphemy Law is being misused widely against the minorities and they are not getting proper jobs in the government. If someone gets a change to get a job, the person gets removed by the mullahs".
Citing the example of Atif Mian, who was recently removed by Imran Khan's government, Lazer said, "Recently, a minority Ahmadi Muslim (Atif Mian) has been removed from a recently established economic council because of opposition from hard-line Islamists. Not only Christians, other minorities like Hindus and Ahmadis are facing a tough time."
Pakistani Christians living in Europe and UK recently held a protest march in Geneva to make the international community aware about their persecution. A poster campaign in front of the United Nations office also highlighted their plight. (ANI)