Human rights campaigners and Canadian MP call for improved plight of Pakistani religious minorities
02 Oct 2017
London: October 2, 2017. PCP) During a rally organised to raise the plight of a young Christian woman who escaped persecution in Pakistan only to be re-persecuted in the nation of Thailand, human rights campaigners and MP Garnett Genuis called for enhanced focus on the plight of the long-suffering religious minorities of Pakistan.
The event was organised by Keri-Lynn Gibbs a resident of Edmonton, was moved by the plight of Maherwar Ishaq a Pakistani Christian asylum seeker stranded in Thailand, whose family was caught up under a blasphemy allegation after her 7 year old nephew's altercation with a Muslim child. Her nephew has a severe mental disability caused after he was hit by a train a few years before the incident.
Later Maherwar was sexually assaulted after attempting to obtain a renewal of her Pakistani passport. When British Pakistani Christian Association wrote a complaint to the Pakistani Government initially they balked over an investigation, however after pressure from a local Thai solicitor they eventually agreed to an interview of Maherwar with a chaperone. However the Officials from the Embassy called her stepbrother into their offices and threatened to kill Maherwar if she turned up for the interview. Brave Maherwar attended an interview on Monday 26th September intent on getting justice, however she holds real fears that the death threats made were serious. BPCA has placed her in a place of safety outside of Bangkok far from the watchful eyes of the Embassy and their cronies.
The first key speaker at the event was Garnett Genuis who is the member of Parliament for Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan. Mr Genuis is also the Deputy Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Conservative Official Opposition - an expert on the human rights conditions in Pakistan. Impassioned by the persecution faced by minorities in Pakistan which Mr Genuis understands personally through his wife a woman of Pakistan origin, he said:
"It was an honour to speak at the Rally for Maherwar at the Legislature today. Fundamental humaný rights are under threat in many places around the world, but the plight of Pakistani religious minorities is particularly urgent, and it has not received anywhere near the appropriate level of international attention.
"I highlighted today that human rights and religious pluralism was the vision of Pakistan's founder - but the country has strayed far from that original vision. We are pushing the government of Canada to do more to prioritize human rights and religious freedom around the world."