LAHORE: Minorities’ Day observed as “Black Day” by Christian Civil Society groups.
In line with details, Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) in association with Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD), PCNP and CLAAS marked National Minority Day as “Black Day.” The associated Civil Society groups staged demonstration on 11th of August, 2013 in the front of Lahore Press Club. In access of 300 protestors joined the demonstration.
Human Rights Focus Pakistan’s demonstration combined more than 300 individuals from various civil society groups, local leaders, social workers, teachers and particularly the youth to raise core issues with the government putting forth recommendations of the religious minorities through the medium of print and electronic media.
In inaugurating speech by President HRFP Naveed Walter said, “Today is a Black Day for all minorities of Pakistan as the basic rights & fundamental freedoms of minorities are the easiest target to be attacked & harassed.” He also underscored the pitiable condition of Hindu community in Sindh. He stated that,” Hindu girls are also the daughters of Pakistan, but unfortunately daughters of Pakistan are being kidnapped, tortured & becoming the victim of forced marriages & forced conversions.”
Mr. Joseph Francis National Director- CLAAS said, “The current plight and future threats forced us to observe national minority day, thus to convey and expand the outreach of our concerns and reservations to the high Government officials, that’s why religious minorities observed National Minority Day. We demand a reform in the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 as it unambiguously declares that the religious minorities as secondary citizens. Unfortunately the Pakistan of today is contrary to the Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam.”
Many eminent Christian leaders showed up at the protest, to express solidarity with the HRFP. Among the protestors were Samuel Piyara, Javed Martin, Asad Emmanuel, Catherine Sapna and many others. The protestors collectively said, “The contributions and sacrifices of the religious minorities in the formation and development of Pakistan should be remembered and equality should be ensured to them in all aspects.”