USCIRF Commissioner asks Pakistan to repeal blasphemy law; PCC Conference in Washington


Washington DC: August 2, 2010. (PCP/Agencies) Pakistan Christian Congress PCC Conference was first ever successful gathering in a campaign to repeal blasphemy law in Pakistan

when a Commissionor of United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and more than one dozen leaders of International Human Right Organizations were here to speak on rights of Pakistani Christians. Pakistan should repeal its 'Blasphemy law' as its provisions were being misused against the minorities in the country, Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom has said. "It is a precarious status (of minorities in Pakistan), because even though they (the minorities) have certain rights in law, they are constantly vulnerable to accusations that are likely to be false under the blasphemy laws," said Nina Shea, Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. Asking Pakistan government to repeal the law, Shea said "these kinds of laws are not only repressive, but they also create social turmoil." She asked the the US, which is one of the largest donors for the country, to impress upon Islamabad to repeal the law. "I expect the US to bilateral and multilateral engagements with Pakistan to press for the repeal of the blasphemy law," Shea said in a joint press conference held by several organization representing Pakistani minorities in the US. Ahmar Mustikhan, founder of American Friends of Baluchistan, alleged that the minorities - Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Kadiyans have absolutely no rights within Pakistan. "I have not seen any case so far where the perpetrators of crime against Christians, Hindus and Kadiayanis are brought to justice," he alleged. Mr. Jeffery Imm of REAL urged participants to file an online petition campaign urging the Government of Pakistan to respect the diversity of religious views and protect such freedoms that are the inherent universal human rights of all people. Nazir S Bhatti paid homage to martyrs of Gojra and demanded repeal of blasphemy law. He also announced to hold rallies in every city of Pakistan on August 11, 2010, to mark it as “Black Day” instead of Minority Day announced by the government of Pakistan.

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