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Promotion of religious tolerance urged to stop persecution of minorities in Pakistan


Minorities in Pakistan

Is promotion of tolerance an inevitable step towards curbing sectarianism in Pakistan.

According to details, Pakistani Christian and Muslim human rights activists joined hands in demanding effective steps on the part of the Government of Pakistan to promote tolerance in order to prevent sectarianism in Pakistan.

These human rights activists were joined by the civil society as they staged a public demonstration in Faisalabad. Fides reports that these demonstrators demanded that the Pakistani government should form a special task force so as to chalk out a strategic plan of action to guarantee religious tolerance in Pakistan.

“It is urgent to promote tolerance and prevent sectarianism in Pakistan,” they maintained. The protesters urged for “a new law to defeat sectarianism, which provides for strict actions against those who label others as ‘infidels’ or incite to kill in the name of religion”.

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Details have that; this event which was titled “Peace and dignity for all” was attended by members of various religious communities. Apart from members of various religious communities several NGO’s and organizations including “Association of Women for awareness and motivation” (AWAM), “Foundation for Peace and Human Development “(PHD Foundation), “Pakistan NGO Network”(PNN), (LDO),”Rights of expression, assembly, association and thought” (REAT Network) also participated in this demonstration.

These demonstrators expressed strong disapproval of recent terrorist attack on the base of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in Badaber area of Peshawar. They maintained that “Sectarianism and terrorism go hand in hand. All efforts are necessary to remove them from the country”.

In a note sent to Fides, Suneel Malik- Director of Foundation for Peace and Human Development said: “We must put in place concrete initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion, to combat hatred and stereotypes, to enhance understanding and cooperation among people of different cultures and communities. I hope that the government will commit itself in defeating sectarianism and religious hatred.”

Naseem Anthony pointed out that education is a crucial issue, while adding “We urgently need a wider program to address the root causes, to fight extremism, inequality and discrimination starting from the education sector.” He urged the Government of Pakistan to implement the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, issued on June 19, 2014, which obligated the government to take actual steps to make certain that religious tolerance is promoted in the country and additionally to take steps to protect religious minorities in Pakistan.