Minority rights recognised only on paper in Pakistan

Light of Truth

“I saw my son bleed, bruis-ed, unconscious. I shouted his name, splashed water on his face and gently slapped him to wake him up, but he no longer moved,” said Ghafoor Masih, a Christian, father of Saleem Masih, who was beaten to death in Baguyana village on 25 February.

The 24-year-old was punished for bathing in a tube-well pool used by Muslims. His father spoke about the incident that led to his son’s death in an interview with the British Pakistani Christian Association, a non-profit organisation.

Pakistan broke away from India for the sake of religious freedom, but it is now the home of many Ghafoor Masihs, who seek justice for their loved ones; all religious minorities are discriminated against in the country, not only Christians.

Why are minorities in Pakistan the victims of repression? Was the country founded only for Muslims? Of course not. Its founder, Quaid-e-Azam (Great Leader) Muha-mmad Ali Jinnah paid great attention to religious freedom.

“You are free;” Jinnah said, “you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

For not following Jinnah’s words, Pakistan has become the 7th most dangerous place in the world for religious minorities, according to Human Rights Watch.

The problem goes way back. Discrimination began in 1949, right after the Constituent Assembly approved the Objectives, Resolution whereby all laws must conform with Islamic precepts.

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