Plight of Pakistani Christians was highlighted during an event in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) during an event titled “Christians in Pakistan under Threat.” This event was organized on March 14; which was attended by representatives from the Pakistani Christian community. The representatives expressed their concerns about the systematic persecution of Christians.
The representatives of the Pakistani Christian community included a Human Rights campaigner Naveed Walter, Founder of Human Rights Focus Pakistan Reverend James Luke and Javaid Bakhsh retired officer from Pakistan Army. The representatives urged the world to take notice of the plight of Pakistani Christians.
The vent was moderated by the Executive Director, and International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) Mario Silva, while Przemyslaw Czarnecki, a member of the Polish Parliament also attended the event as a special invitee.
Reverend James Luke while speaking at this occasion expressed serious concerns about the “systematic oppression of Christians in Pakistan.” At this occasion, he detailed several incidents when Pakistani Christians had been targeted and killed by religious extremists. He slammed frequent misuse of the blasphemy law; which is being used to settled personal disputes with the Christians.
Furthermore, Javaid Bakhsh laid great emphasis on the fact that the western world must pay attention to the persecution of Christians in Pakistan. He stated that the Christians were being robbed of their rights to job opportunities, economic and other benefits as they are undergoing and social ostracism. “He called on the Western world to put pressure on Pakistan to stop the genocide of Christians,” Pakistan Christian Post reported.
Member of Polish Parliament, Przemyslaw Czarnecki, criticized the Pakistani government for repeatedly failing to protect the rights of Pakistani Christians. He went on to say that there are several well known cases of persecution of Pakistani Christians. He said that there are many factors resulting in persecution of Pakistani Christians. He said that those who raised voice against the persecution of Pakistani Christians were being targeted.
Przemyslaw Czarnecki pointed fingers at the blasphemy law saying; it is being misused as a tool to persecute the Christian community of Pakistan. He urged the European countries saying that there is a serious need to “re-consider their bilateral cooperation with Pakistan and put pressure on the country to take effective measures to improve the condition of Christians,” stated PCP.
Human Rights campaigner Naveed Walter highlighted the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who has been on the death row over blasphemy accusations. He stated that the human rights conditions were deteriorating, especially when the Christians are not enjoying political rights as Muslims. He said that the international community must pressurize the Pakistani government to ensure dispensation of equal rights for the minorities.