SPECIAL 2022: Bleak Future For Minorities in Pakistan

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The protesters demanded that the need of the hour is to save and secure Pakistanis more than ten million non-Muslim population who are represented with the white colour on the national flag and play active role in the development of Pakistan… reports Asian Lite News

 The problem with minorities in Pakistan has been accentuating day by day as the Pakistani society fails to realise the relevance of security for the minorities and the government is not keen to come forward in this regard.

The Pakistani Christian community has been one of the worst affected in this regard. The small Pakistani Christian community abroad is helpless in dealing with the issue and their activities are restricted to holding protestsabroad drawing the attention of the local government at their place of residence and the Pakistani government to look into the matter seriously.

In this connection, on Dec 10 a group of Pakistani origin Dutch Christian protested in the Hague in front of Pakistani mission demanding action on those responsible for maltreatment of the Christian community in Pakistan and demanded a quick resolution for their protection. The protesters carried banners and posters with slogans demanding justice in the cases of minority.

The Protesters condemned the recent incidents of lynching of Sri Lankan national, abduction, rape, forcible conversion and marriage of Christian minor girls in Pakistan, fabrication of false blasphemy cases and demanded legislation for protection of minorities.

The petitioners demanded the need for a quick federal legislation & enforcement of law to stop forced conversion and marriages of the girls of the Christian, Hindu and other communities. According to reports prepared by the protesters the percentage of unreported cases of forced conversions is much higher. Many of these minor girls can be seen marrying their so-called abductors who, in most cases are many years older than them.

Moreover, the girls and their families fail to get justice because of their poverty, influence of extremist religious and political leaders, corruption and mishandling by the investigators and the judiciary. They also demanded that the need of the hour is to save and secure Pakistanis more than ten million non-Muslim population who are represented with the white colour on the national flag and play active role in the development of Pakistan.

The petitioners demanded that Pakistani parliament and government should act swiftly to frame and enforce a law of federal jurisdiction with severe punishments and fines to stop this heinous crime against humanity. This should include the following provisions:

* Every girl (even a boy or a transgender) should be considered as a minor before their eighteenth birthday.

* They should not be allowed to change their belief or get married before the age of eighteen.

* Any effort to convince/convert a minor should be considered as a crime against the state of Pakistan. Any person/authority/institution/ establishment, converting or trying to convert a minor, should be punished; regardless of their social/religious or political status. Each one of such criminals should receive a minimum sentence of 10 and maximum of 25 years of imprisonment and Pk Rs ten million (Pk Rs 1,000,000) of fine.

* Convincing a minor to run away from home should be considered as a crime against the state and should be punished with a minimum sentence of 10 and maximum of 25 years imprisonment and Pk Rs ten million (Pk Rs 1,000,000) of fine.

* Rape of a minor (girl/boy/transgender) should be considered as a very serious crime against the state and the society. Rapist of a minor should be punished with a minimum sentence of 25 years and maximum of death penalty along with a fine of Pk Rs ten million (Pk Rs 10,000,000).

* Conversion to Islam and marriage before 18 years of a non-Muslim, should strictly be forbidden by law and should not be taken as an excuse to marry or have sexual relation with a minor.

Hindu Temple vandalised in Pakistan Pic credits ANI

* Any minor, reported as missing, abducted, run away, converted or married, should be recovered as soon as possible. Such recovered individual should not be sent to “Dar-ul-Aman” but immediately be returned to their respective families.

* Departmental actions should be initiated against any police official not registering the FIR of a minor reported as missing or abducted. Such officers should face charges of abstraction of justice and face demotions or termination from active service.

* A person wishing to convert to Islam, and/or wanting to marry a Muslim boy or girl, should only be able do so by appearing before a civil or a district and session judge with undeniable, documented proof of their required age i.e. 18 years by birth certificate or FRC by NADRA.

The Blasphemy Law

* The brutal murder & lynching of Sri Lankan national, Priyantha Kumara, is undeniable proof of inhumane behaviour in the name of religion. It is the highest responsibility of the state to take necessary action to root out extremism and its causes.

* The Blasphemy Law is being used to settle personal scores, therefore, we demand that sections; 295-A, 295-B and 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code should immediately be repealed.

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