Pakistan: Minorities’ rights – Schedule caste Hindu women demand civil rights

Hindu community lacked a sense of identity due to the absence of proper documentation of their marital status.

ISLAMABAD: For several years, Hindu women have been forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men even though they are already married to Hindus. Since there is no evidence to prove their marital status, they are unable to take a legal stand on their issue.

This was stated by schedule caste Hindu women during a press conference on Thursday. (more…)

Call for repeal of blasphemy law

KARACHI: An American Muslim scholar and international minorities’ rights activist visiting here urged the Pakistan government on Friday to reform and eventually repeal all laws believed to be discriminatory against minority groups in the country.

Delivering a lecture on ‘State of religious freedom in South Asia’ at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs, Safiya Ghori said these laws had ambiguous language and flaws liable to be misused by individuals and groups to promote their own agendas.

Citing the example of last year’s Gojra incident, when a mob of extremists burnt alive at least seven persons in arson attacks on a church and homes of Christians, she said the misuse of the blasphemy laws could entail similar horrendous acts in the future too.

The young advocate of Muslims’ rights in the United States and once herself the victim of religious discrimination in America, she said Islam is a tolerant religion, Pakistani society as a whole is non-violent and a majority of people are open-minded believing in religious diversity. But, she added, a few pockets of extremism here were active against minority groups, be they Christians, Hindus or Sikhs. (more…)

Minority affairs secy summoned

LAHORE, June 4: The Lahore High Court on Friday summoned Provincial Secretary for Minority Affairs on June 10 on a petition challenging violation of five percent quota allocated for minorities in recruitment of teachers across Punjab.

The court also directed provincial secretary to present complete record regarding implementation of five per cent quota.

Justice Sh Azmat Saeed gave these orders on a petition filed by Christian Progressive Movement Chairperson Naila J Diyal , stating that the federal government issued a notification on May 26, 2009 announcing the “reservation of five per cent quota for employment of minorities, including in CSS exams for federal government service”. (more…)

Ahmadi man stabbed to death in Narowal

LAHORE: An Ahmadi man was stabbed to death by an enraged man in Pakistan on Monday, just days after gun, grenade and suicide attacks targeting the religious minority killed more than 80 people, police said.

The stabbing took place in the town of Narowal, some 100 kilometres northeast of Lahore, where suspected militants wearing suicide vests burst into prayer halls on Friday and killed 82 worshippers.

“In the morning, a man identified as Abid Butt climbed the wall of the house of a local Ahmadi family and stabbed Naimatullah, 55, and his son Mansoor Ahmed,” local police station chief Riaz Sangha told AFP by telephone. (more…)

HRCP group begins work to highlight threats based on belief – A working group established by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

(HRCP) has formally started working to highlight the challenges and discrimination faced by the communities across the country on account of their belief

by: I. A. Rehman Secretary – General

Lahore, June 15, 2010: A working group established by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has formally started working to highlight the challenges and discrimination faced by the communities across the country on account of their belief.

The HRCP Working Group on Rights of Communities Vulnerable Because of their Belief, which was launched last week, comprises members of Christian, Hindu, Bahai, Ahmedi, Zoroastrian, Sikh and Muslim communities.

The group has decided to give priority to initiatives to highlight human rights violations and concerns; analysis of discriminatory laws and practices and recommending appropriate changes; and scrutiny of circumstances that allow advocacy of hatred based on religious beliefs, which constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. (more…)


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