Growing fear and insecurity among oppressed religious minorities in Pakistan. By Salma Peter John
24 Aug 2012
Rimsha Incident has once again opened the wounds of our Christian community and made us to shed the tears of blood, while strongly condemning the false allegation leveled against 11 years old girl, Rimsha Masih, accused of having burn the pages of Koran and the attack of unruly elements on Christian residents of Meharbad that led them to flee; leaving their home and hearth.
Growing incidents of terrorism, killings in the streets of Pakistan, misuse of discriminatory law particularly Blasphemy and increase violence against the religious minorities shows an alarming situation. Blasphemy law has been a naked sword widely misused and caused insecurity and fear among the weakest sections in Pakistan. With the growing persecution and violence against the religious minorities, the community is bound to think that the government has failed to provide protection and security to religious minorities.
The laws of the land are only good if they protect and safeguard life and property of its citizen. It is no more a hidden fact that the blasphemy law has been gravely misused in respect of non-Muslim citizens. It is the responsibility of government to maintain law & order situation and to prevent laws from being misused by few armed miscreants, who take law into their hands. Government must take stern action against element hell bent to usurp power to challenge the government writ and democratic setup. They are a threat to the nation and Pakistan’s own existence.
Religious minorities of Pakistan refuse to accept this undemocratic and unconstitutional law being misused to victimize and oppress them. These laws are contradictory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and negate the founding principles of Pakistan.
The government is a physical manifestation and it acts for State; hence it is the responsibility of a Democratic government to ensure and fulfill basic requirement to guarantee basic Human rights to every individual, Freedom of Opinion, Religious Liberty and good Governance.
We, Christian member of civil society highly recommended that the government of Pakistan must form a committee to review all the discriminatory laws and if it has no power to amend or repeal them then at least stop the misuse of the laws that negate the basic human rights.
(Ms.Salma Peter John is Human rights activist / Member of Civil society in Pakistan)