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Geneva: Pakistani Christians call for justice and equal rights for minorities

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Pakistani Christians living in United Kingdom and other countries of Europe staged a protest in front of Palais Wilson, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. The protestors were holding placards with slogans which read: “Save Pakistani Christians”, “Stop Human Rights Violations against Christians in Pakistan” and “Abolish Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan”.

Pakistani Christians in Europe

The protestors also chanted slogans demanding justice for blasphemy accused Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi. They demanded justice and equal rights for the minorities in Pakistan. Pakistani Christians marched from Palais Wilson to Broken Chair in front of Palace of Nations, so as to highlight the plight of persecuted Pakistani Christians and other religious minorities.

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This protest was held when the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council was going on. On this occasion President of the International Christian Concern, Advocate Qamar Shams stated: “The situation is quite serious and is going from bad to worse because it’s happening all the time. Hardly a day passes when you don’t hear a new case of persecution.

And persecution in different ways – it’s not persecution of blasphemy laws – it is social persecution, it is economic persecution and at the moment what the condition in Pakistan is of the minorities and particularly the Christians that they have been made to believe that they are not equal human beings. They are not equal citizens, they don’t have equal rights, they don’t have equal opportunities in jobs and government official positions, in the army, in navy and in the air force.”

Highlighting the escalating religion based discrimination in Pakistan, he said: “Lately, there were ads in the newspapers which said that the job of a sweeper is specifically for Christians and only Christians need to apply. At the moment they (Christians) have been made mentally upset and convinced to believe that they are inferior and meant to do dirty jobs”.

One of the protestors, Anjum Iqbal, a Pakistani Christian who is nestled in Holland said: “We are in minority and demand equal rights. There are several other issues which members of our community are facing in Pakistan. The major issue is an injustice, which should not happen to any Christian, a Hindu or a person of some other religion. We demand equal rights”.

Talking about the jeopardy of abductions, forced marriages and forced conversions of Pakistani Christian women he said: “There are many Christian girls, who have been kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam. If she agrees to live with a Muslim then she will be alive, if she denies their demand, she gets killed. This is a major issue Christian girls have been facing.”