Religious freedom under attack in Pakistan, says United States

Pakistani take part in a demonstration to condemn Sunday's suicide bombing attack near two churches, in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, March 16, 2015. Pakistani police fired tear gas canisters after minority Christians on Monday clashed with police in the eastern city of Lahore, a day after Taliban suicide bombers killed more than a dozen people as they targeted two churches in the city, the latest attack against religious minorities in this increasingly fractured country. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

“Religious freedom is under attack in Pakistan, where more than two dozen are on death row or serving a life imprisonment for blasphemy,” Rex Tillerson said in his speech as he released the 2016 International Religious Freedom report. 

Religious freedom is under attack in Pakistan where minorities like Sikhs, Christians and Hindus remained concerned over government’s “inadequate” action to address forced conversions to Islam. Members of religious minority communities said that there continued to be inconsistent application of laws safeguarding minority rights and enforcement of protections of religious minorities at both the federal and provincial levels by the federal Ministry of Law, Justice, and Human Rights and its provincial counterparts, said the report released by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“Religious minorities said they remained concerned that government action to address coerced conversions of religious minorities to Islam was inadequate,” the report, first under the Trump administration, said. “Religious freedom is under attack in Pakistan, where more than two dozen are on death row or serving a life imprisonment for blasphemy,” Tillerson said in his speech as he released the 2016 International Religious Freedom report.

Religious minority community leaders continued to say that the government failed to take adequate action to protect minorities from bonded labour in the brick-making and agricultural sectors, an illegal practice in which victims were disproportionately Christians and Hindus, it said. According to Hindu and Sikh leaders, the legal uncertainty surrounding the process of registering marriages for their communities continued to create difficulties for Hindu and Sikh women in obtaining their inheritances, accessing health services, voting, obtaining a passport, and buying or selling property, the report said.

“It is my hope that the new prime minister (Shahid Khaqan Abbasi) and his government will promote interfaith harmony and protect the rights of religious minorities,” Tillerson said after releasing the Congressional mandated report. The government marginalises Ahmadiyya Muslims and refuses to recognise them as Muslims, the report said.

In 2016, violence and abuses committed by armed sectarian groups connected to organisations banned by the government, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, as well as abuses by individuals and groups designated as terrorist organisations by the US and other governments, such as ISIL-K, continued, the report said.

Religious minority activists, however, said that they believed the Sindh Assembly’s new law criminalising forced conversions, which passed in November but was under review by the Sindh Assembly at year’s end, would be a step to restrict the practice and better protect minors belonging to religious minorities, it added.

 

http://indianexpress.com/article/pakistan/religious-freedom-under-attack-in-pakistan-says-united-states-4798583/

We are using cookies to give you the best experience. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in privacy settings.
AcceptPrivacy Settings

GDPR

This Cookie Policy explains how Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK (AMA UK)  Limited (“company”, “we”, “us”, and “ours”) use cookies and similar technologies to recognize you when you visit our websites, including without limitation www.ahmadiyyauk.org and its mobile or localized versions and related domains / sub-domains (“Websites”) and/or our mobile application (“App”). It explains what these technologies are and why we use them, as well as your rights to control our use of them.

What are cookies?

Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website or mobile application. Cookies are then sent back to the originating site on each subsequent visit, or to another site that recognizes that cookies. You can find out more information about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org.

Cookies are widely used in order to make sites work or to work more efficiently.

We use cookies to enhance the online experience of our visitors (for example, by remembering your visits and/or page preferences) and to better understand how our site is used. Cookies may tell us, for example, whether you have visited our site before or whether you are a new visitor.

Cookies can remain on your computer or mobile device for different periods of time. Some cookies are ‘session cookies’, meaning that they exist only while your browser is open. These are deleted automatically once you close your browser. Other cookies are ‘permanent cookies,’ meaning that they survive after your browser is closed. They can be used by the site to recognize your computer or mobile device when you open your browser and browse the Internet again.

Why do we use cookies?

We use cookies for several reasons. Some cookies are required for technical reasons in order for our Websites and/or App to operate, and we refer to these as “essential” or “strictly necessary” cookies. Other cookies also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our Websites and/or App. Third parties serve cookies through our Websites and/or App for analytics and other purposes such as Google Analytics. In particular, we use forms related cookies which when you submit data through a form such as those found on contact pages or comment forms cookies may be set to remember your user details for future correspondence.

How can you control cookies?

You have the right to choose whether or not to accept cookies and we have explained how you can exercise this right below. However, please note that if you do not accept our cookies, you may experience some inconvenience in your use of our site.

You can set or amend your web browser controls to accept or refuse cookies. As the means by which you can refuse cookies through your web browser controls vary from browser-to-browser, you should visit your browser’s help menu for more information.

How often will we update this Cookie Policy?

We may update this Cookie Policy from time to time in order to reflect, for example, changes to the cookies we use or for other operational, legal or regulatory reasons. Please, therefore, re-visit this Cookie Policy regularly to stay informed about our use of cookies and related technologies.