The Government of Pakistan is in denial over the existence of minority persecution in Pakistan. In a recent statement the Interior Minister of Pakistan
Chaudhry Nisar Ali K han has asserted that any belief that religious minorities in Pakistan are suffering because of abuse of the blasphemy laws is
” The facts and figures reveal that in most blasphemy cases the accused were Muslims.”
He explained to the Senate House that data from the Sindh proved that of 129 cases of blasphemy registered in total – 99 cases were registered against
Muslims. This meant that 76% of the total convictions were against Muslims.
“These facts point towards the fact that religious minorities are not being embroiled in blasphemy cases more than Muslims.
“In essence, religious minorities are not being targeted by the blasphemy laws.” he stated.
Chaudhry Nisar further revealed no blasphemy cases had been registered with the provincial governments of Kybher Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan.
Neither were there any FIR’s for any potential blasphemy in these provinces.
The Senate’s Committee on Human Rights has unanimously agreed to bring about a change in blasphemy legislation in order to prevent the misuse of blasphemy
laws. The Committee has made several recommendations including; prohibiting police officers lower than the rank of Superintendent from investigating
into blasphemy cases. Also the option of bail to be available for those accused in blasphemy charges.
Recently a statement was issued by Senator Farhat Ullah Babar in which he was asserted that the Senate’s Committee on Human Rights was prepared for
a debate on how to prevent the misuse of blasphemy laws in the country.
His statement confirmed that a discussion will be centered around the recommendations contained in a report which is 24 years old. He further asserted
that this will be the first time ever, that a parliamentary body will consider a formal proposal on how to prevent the misuse of the blasphemy laws.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairmn of the BPCA, said:
“When senior government officials are willing to intentionally twist statistics to pervert the campaign for equal rights for minorities, it bodes ill for their future in a nation where they are considered pariahs.
“Sadly Mr Khan’s comments even when taken at face value suggest that minority persecution is way above the expected values for such a small percentile of Pakistan’s population
“His contrived results have failed to recognize that Christians in recent years have become the number one target of blasphemy allegations. It is our belief that a large proportion of the 26% of blasphemy convictions listed against minorities will have sentenced Christians, yet we contribute only 1.6% of the entire national population.
“If this is how the rest of the Government feels then I believe hope for Christians in Pakistan has reached its lowest ebb.
“The real losers of this review will be Christians and Ahmadis if these proposals make it through Parliament and ratification by Senate. Several previous attempts have failed most notably during the reign of General Musharraf and President Zirdari.
“Under the current proposals a deeply prejudiced Superintendent may choose to drop charges against Muslims and penalize only the minorities. Moreover nothing is being done to remove Section 298A which outlaws the Ahmadi faith?
“The proposals are superficial and disingenuous and will only serve to propagate and enhance minority targeting.”
BPCA believe the only reform of the blasphemy laws that could provide any protection to minorities is their complete abrogation.
Please sign our petition calling for termination of the blasphemy laws of Pakistan (click here)