Pakistan Minorities Alliance PMA organized a demonstration outside the United Nations Head Quarters in Geneva. This protest was held in order to high light the plight of religious minorities in Pakistan. At this occasion, several members of PMA were present. The protestors urged the United Nations Organization to take note of the quandary of religious minorities in Pakistan who are reeling from scourges of discrimination, extremism, and religion-based violence.
This demonstration was organized by Noel Bhatti, President of Pakistan Minorities Alliance, while several members of PMA were present at this occasion and voiced their concerns for the religious minorities living in Pakistan. These protesters were holding placards and banners with slogans calling for a halt of persecution of minorities.
The protesters were carrying placards which read “Abolish the blasphemy laws,” “Stop attacks on churches in Pakistan,” and “Stop killing Minorities.” At the same time the issues of minorities were highlighted. The participants of the peaceful rally emphasized that religious minorities face discrimination and persecution on religious grounds, forced conversions, attacks on their worship places along with the draconian blasphemy law which is being constantly used as a noose around minorities’ necks.
PMA President Sultan Saroya, President of PMA Italy chapter Noel Malik and President of PMA Malta Chapter Sheron Lazar called upon the United Nations to take note of the plight of the Pakistani Christians. They demanded that the persecution of Christians around the globe must not be overlooked. At the same time, they implored the United Nations to take apt action in order to curb the Christian persecution.
The United States Commission for International Religious Freedom in its annual report stated: “In 2015, the Pakistani government continued to perpetrate and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations. Religiously-discriminatory constitutional provisions and legislation, such as the country’s blasphemy law and anti-Ahmadiyya laws, intrinsically violate international standards of freedom of religion or belief and result in prosecutions and imprisonments.”
“Pakistan’s religious freedom environment has long been marred by religiously-discriminatory constitutional provisions and legislation, including its blasphemy laws. For years, the Pakistani government has failed to protect citizens, minority and majority alike, from sectarian and religiously-motivated violence. Pakistani authorities also have failed to consistently bring perpetrators to justice or take action against societal actors who incite violence,” the report said.