Faisalabad: Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) observed International Human Rights Day 2021 in collaboration with Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD), GHRTV, National Minorities Alliance Pakistan (NMAP) and Peace and Development Foundation (PDF) with civil society and stakeholders on UN theme of “EQUALITY - Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights 'Equality' as Article 1 of the UDHR stating that “All human beings are born free and are equal in dignity and rights.”.
The event in Press Cub Faisalabad was organized speaking with print & electronic media persons to raise issues of minorities’ human rights violations. The representatives of civil society, religious, political workers and women participated particularly and addressed over there.
Naveed Walter, President of HRFP raised issues through Pakistani and international media and authorities that human rights violations are growing faster. The minorities, women, and children are most vulnerable being easy targets. The alarming increase in abductions, forced conversion and forced marriages of minority girls has reached to 1500 a year. He said, a forced conversions bill was forwarded in Parliament for legislation but that was rejected saying it an un-Islamic which is a clear message about seriousness of authorities, he added more. He said a recent example of Priyantha Kumara’s who was burnt alive by mob accusing of blasphemy has revealed the mind sets to be changed, he added !
In relation to Human Rights Day, Lala Robin Daniel Chairman NMAP said that abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages are the concerning issues to minorities while the culprits and facilitators never brought to justice. He said a judicial system is on 126th rank of 130th of world, which is enough to share how the justice could be given to victims. He said the incident of Sialkot highly condemnable, he added more.
A political worker, Tahira Anjum said that coercion toward women in educational institutes, at work places, in public, and domestically has discouraged them to grow in Pakistan. Equal opportunities should be provided to them. We stand against the violence and false allegations of theft against female domestic workers. The discrimination and inequality in the society against women is not acceptable particular the minority women are multiply victimized, she added.
Shadman John (Program Coordinator HRFP), Yasir Talib, Pervaiz Iqbal Bhatti, Suneel Malik, Manzoor Anthony and Abrar Younas said Pakistan should implement the UDHR’s all 30 articles and rule of law. The brutal murder of Priyantha Kumara a Srilankan accused of blasphemy is enough to understand how the situation is of human rights in Pakistan, which has portrayed a negative image of country around the world. The speakers said curriculum should be revised, the religious speeches should be monitored, the promotion of peace, tolerance and religious harmony should be initiated so the students and youth could not learn the extremism, which is a 70 % of Pakistan , they added.
Moreover, Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) will issue an annual report in January 2022 about the minorities’ atrocities during 2021 through a concrete research paper being developed in results of facts and figures during mission trips to individual’s cases, media scanning’s and monitoring of issues.
On Human Rights Day 2021 the following recommendations presented to media and authorities for implementations on conversions, covenants and treaties being signed by Pakistan should be ensured and practiced, legislations on abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages and to stop such practices., Child Marriages must be ended, Repel the blasphemy laws and the practices must be stopped, Freedom of Media should be ensured, the sanitary workers should be provided the hygienic kits, protections measures and health services, the registered domestic workers should be provided social security cards, the political streaming of minorities should be ensured, promote the minorities’ role in establishing and formation of Pakistan, allot of the land to minorities in city and agricultural lands in villages.
The panel unanimously announced that if the demands are not fulfilled the minorities will long march to Islamabad (capital of Pakistan) on 23rd March 2022 demanding rights