The PPP government had declared August 11 as minorities’ day in 2009 by the effort of then minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who was assassinated in the country’s capital in 2011.
The day signifies Quaid-e-Azam’s speech to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 in which he had said, “You may belong to any religion, caste or creed – that has nothing to do with business of the State.”
Pakistan was established as a secular Islamic republic at the inception of its nationhood in 1947. As the years have distanced itself from 1947 Pakistan has become more and more entrenched in the purist Islamic thought that revolves around the Theo political jurisprudence of Sharia Law.
I had a privilege to attend the celebration of the minorities’ day ceremony in the President House last year. Present government (PML-N) is in no mood of celebrating minorities’ day. On the other hand, the Christian country’s head; US 2nd time elected President Barack Obama has arranged iftar party in the White House this year and had proudly announced to support Muslims in the world.
However, information Minister Parvez Rasheed (giving lame less excuse) said that the day is falling during Eid holidays. Though Pakistan is going through a testing time but minorities are on our priority list, he added.
The Information Ministers’ statement sounds good only on papers, but we (Pakistani Christians) are very well aware of the priorities of the ruling party. In my post submissions about the plight of Christians in Pakistan that has provided lenses to view the priorities of the ruling party. Gojra, Shantinagar, Sangla Hill and Joseph Colony incidents mount up during PML-N regime in the Punjab province. After coming in power in the federal, PML-N holds the only representation of the minorities “Ministry of National Harmony” in their own hands.
In the wake of the critical situation, a criminal silence and a careless attitude of Christian leadership in the country is alarming. Pakistani Christians express their deep concern for continuation of peace and harmony not only in Pakistan but in the whole world. There have been many wake-up calls, but Pakistani Christian politicians/religious leaders have gone into a long snooze. The cases of Bishop John Joseph, Shantinagar, Gojra, Joseph Colony, Asia Bibi and Rimsha are an example of Christian leaders’ callousness.
Minority Day/Equality Day/Black Day
During the recent week, I received invitations from different active Christians’ political/religious groups celebrating this day as; some said Minority Day, Equality Day and others said this day as black day. These leaders have declared the day according to their own mind set and pretend themselves as community leaders. On this day, these leaders will spend huge money for their vested interest. It is pathetic that when these so called leaders are requested to support a needy person, they will not go for it and will present list of excuses. Let me give you the recent example; during the past week, two Christian girls and a boy working in a beauty salon accused of theft sent to jail on judicial remand in the capital. As these workers were the only sources of income in their families. I requested local political leader to support them in terms of providing surety bonds for their release but he refused simply saying that I don’t know anyone in Islamabad. Then I asked human rights champion (who claim a higher-ranking in human rights service); to provide legal aid and was surprised to his answer that it does not fall in our organizations policy. (I am not mentioning their names in their story, will disclose next). Now I heard that the both leaders are arranging events on this day.
Role of clergy in development has left a question mark. Evangelical churches and bishops are involved in land grabbing. These black sheep must be marked. (I will write a detailed story on it as well)
I always emphasize to put heads together, and have been writing for the unity among Pakistani Christian.
When all other parties, groups and organizations can put their heads together and be unanimous on the solutions, why can’t Pakistani Christians sit together for their rights?
Instead of pronouncing moral judgments on everything and anything, why can’t Pakistani Christians stand altogether for Christians’ welfare as a whole?
Christians stand nowhere:
West neglect Christian as a whole, America, Europe, and Britain too often ignores the persecution of the Christians as a whole and focus on individual Christian, who do not present true picture there. Most of the beneficiaries are Muslims from UN organization. Embassies have their own social sectors head to support Pakistani Christian, if they want. But it is observed they normally ignore Christian’s even granting visa while grant visas to Muslims/Hindus and Ahmedies.
Only a small number of individuals enjoy this status. Rests are suffering and suffering on the name of Christianity.
Some local Christian politicians, civil rights champions and religious leaders have been making money on the pretest of safeguarding minority rights but these financial resources are being used in getting positions in other political parties and for their vested interest instead spending those funds for achieving Christian prosperity/unity. Some of them, as Christian representatives, have been a part of the constitutional assembly which approved the blasphemy law and they kept quiet at that time. Now, we have few Christians political parties registered to contest general elections but have no contact with the Christian community at grass root level and have not shown any seriousness in guarding Christians’ rights and are rather busy in making deals with major Muslim parties.
I always write to seek greater civil rights for the Christian minority in Pakistan. Christianity is a very small minority in Pakistan but suffering a lot. I have been working actively for a democratic, tolerant and progressive social order and for socio economic and political rights of religious minorities especially for Christian in Pakistan.