Predicament of Pakistani religious minorities discussed in the United Nations

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Plight of religious minorities in Pakistan is discussed at an event titled “Plight of Pakistani Minorities” organized at the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council. The event was held on September 16, where the speakers highlighted the plight of persecuted Pakistani religious minorities. Some of the speakers were from Pakistan who spoke about their quandary.

Plight of Pakistani religious minorities discussed in UN

The speakers included Fulvio Martusciello, Member of the European Parliament, Mario Silva, Executive Director, International Forum for Rights and Security, Canada, Dr. Rubina Greenwood, Vice Chairperson, World Sindhi Congress and Senge Sering, President, Institute for Gilgit-Baltistan Studies.

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While addressing the event, Fulvio Martusciello laid emphasis on the Pakistan’s discriminatory laws against minorities. He targeted the extremist groups which are being used as channels to target minorities including the Christians, Hazaras, Ahmadiyas, Hindus and others. He said that the religion based intolerance is of prime concern.

Mario Silva referred to the wave of killings in the country, as the educators, journalists, lawyers and students had been targeted in Baluchistan. He said that if nothing is done, this would be a stark failure of the international community to save the Baloch people.

At this occasion, another speaker Dr. Rubina Greenwood, who campaigns for the human rights of the Sindhi community, said that in Pakistan, religious minorities are being persecuted in various ways. She said that owing to rising levels of persecution, religious minorities are fleeing. She said that on April 16, 2016, about 11,500 Pakistanis, which included mostly Christians, sought asylum in Thailand.

Moreover, thousands of Pakistanis including Hindus and Sikhs had opted to move to India in order to escape from the religion based persecution. She called on the international community to withhold monetary assistance to Pakistan till the discriminatory laws are improved while the issue of the religious minorities is addressed. She said that Special UN Rapporteur should be nominated so that an investigation is carried out into religion based persecution of Shias, Hindus, Christians, Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.