Geneva [Switzerland], September 29 (ANI): A research analyst lambasted Pakistan on Friday, accusing the country of creating a hostile environment for religious minorities by promoting Sunni Islamist extremism.
Conor Owens, an analyst working with the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) while making intervention during the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council said,"The recent resolution introduced by Pakistan during this Council's last session in light of Quran burnings in Sweden attempts to diminish manifestations of religious hatred."He added,"While religious intolerance should always be condemned, Pakistan's concern for religious hatred abroad is a blatant display of hypocrisy, as it is unwilling to express the same considerations within its own borders".
Owens told the Council that the rise of Sunni Islamist extremism, cultivated by the Pakistani Military Establishment, has created a hostile environment for religious minorities, including the Shi'a, Ahmadiyya, Christian, Hindu, and Sikh communities.
He said,"The blasphemy and anti-Ahmadiyya laws currently enforced in Pakistan have enabled Islamist extremists to operate with legal cover and persecute non-Muslims on a daily basis. These religious minorities have become subject to frequent, unprovoked attacks, which include mob violence, lynching, assassinations, forced conversions, and the desecration of places of worship".
"This Council should be wary of the advice of a fanatical State whose educational curriculum breeds hatred for minorities, and whose judicial system gives impunity to these aggressors", the analyst said.
Conor added that it is the responsibility of UN human rights bodies to exert pressure on Pakistani authorities for greater legal accountability. Constituting the mechanism of a fact-finding mission to fully evaluate the human rights situation of religious minorities in Pakistan is long overdue and utmost urgent, he noted.
"Without such actions, these violations of religious freedom in Pakistan will only continue to worsen," he said.
It was not a coincidence that on the very same day, the Sindhi Foundation held a day-long poster campaign in front of the United Nations office in Geneva to make people aware of the plight of Sindhis in Pakistan's Sindh province.
The campaign was held during the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
Besides slogans criticising Pakistan and China for exploiting the resources of Sindh, the posters depicted the pictures of several Sindhi political activists, journalists, and other intellectuals who were allegedly forcibly abducted, tortured and brutally killed by Pakistan's secret agencies.
At the 54th Session of the Human Rights Council two days ago, India came down hard on Pakistan for using the forum for their baseless allegations against New Delhi and also highlighted the prevailing atrocities against the minorities in the neighbouring country.
"Pakistan has failed miserably in protecting the rights of its ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, and Shia Muslims, who are systemically persecuted on a daily basis and deprived of their human rights, especially their freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression and right to life," India said.
New Delhi also pointed out the situation of minorities in Pakistan and mentioned the report published by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 women from minority communities are subjected to abduction, forced conversion and marriage in the country every year. (ANI)