Pakistan Minorities Alliance challenges Constitution’s facetious nature regarding minorities’ rights

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Tahir Naveed Chaudhry

Talking to various religious and political leaders of Pakistan, in an Interfaith Conference held in Islamabad from November 24 to 25, Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, Chairman Pakistan Minorities Alliance challenged the biasness of the constitution against the Pakistani non-Muslims.

In the conference organised by Mufti Abu Hurera, he stated that the Article 25 of the Pakistani Constitution declares all Pakistani citizens equal, yet the Article 14 (after the 1973 amendment) does not allow a non-Muslim to become the head of the state.

The advocate who formerly defended Rimsha Masih’s blasphemy case also raised the issue of forceful conversion and marriage of non-Muslim girls with Muslim men. He quoted from Islamic history and reminded the officials that Islam strictly forbids any such actions and the government must take serious steps to nip this evil in the bud.

Chaudhry further said, “There is discrimination in Pakistan´s education sector as well since the Muslim students who memorize the Quran get 20 extra marks but on the contrary the students who belong to minorities have no such privilege as their knowledge of scriptures other than Quran is not given any value.” He said the step, if taken, would create a sense of equality among the non-Muslim students.

Blasphemy law is Pakistan’s most notorious law which has been a tool in the wrong hands for years who have exploited non-Muslim Pakistanis to the extreme. Condemning the nature of the law, the PMA Chairman said, “Laws are made for the betterment of the society and not for persecuting the minorities. Pakistan´s blasphemy law must not be misused or abused against the people of faiths other than Islam. Those who falsely accuse the minorities must be punished as well by the law.”

Turning towards the Pakistani mainstream media, he criticised their role and stated that the media was biased towards Pakistani minorities and was reluctant in highlighting their achievements. Media plays an important role in the development of a nation and the right talent, if praised, can prove to be beneficial for the whole nation.

The Pakistan Minorities Alliance Chairman tried to summarise all the main issues concerning non-Muslim Pakistanis in his fifteen minute address and succeeded in taking the voice of Pakistani Christians to higher government circles.