Illustration by Marium Ali
Christians, Ahmadiyyas, and Sikhs, according to Badhe, continue to be persecuted by the majority.
On Tuesday, India slammed Pakistan for increasing attacks on religious minorities, accusing the government of turning a blind eye to cases of forced conversions, rape, kidnapping, and forced marriage. India claimed that assaults on minorities occur daily while exercising the Right of Reply to Pakistan's comments during the 47th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) at the United Nations in Geneva.
“The plight of minorities in Pakistan is evident from their shrinking size. Forced conversions’ have become a daily phenomenon in Pakistan. We have seen reports of minor girls belonging to religious minorities being abducted, raped, forcibly converted, and married. More than 1,000 girls, belonging to religious minorities, are forcibly converted in Pakistan every year,” Pawan Badhe, first secretary in India’s permanent mission in Geneva said during the session.
Christians, Ahmadiyyas, Sikhs, and Hindus, according to Badhe, continue to be persecuted by the majority. According to him, the Pakistani government persecutes these groups regularly.
“Systematic persecution of minorities, including Christians, Ahmadiyyas, Sikhs, Hindus through Draconian blasphemy laws, forced conversions and marriages, and extra-judicial killings, has become a regular phenomenon in Pakistan. Holy and ancient sites of religious minorities in Pakistan are attacked and vandalized,” Badhe further added.
Sindhis are Pakistan's most populous ethnic minority group, followed by Pashtuns, Mohajirs, and Baluchis. According to minorityrights.org, Hindus are Pakistan's largest religious minority group, followed by Christians, Ahmadis, Shias, Ismailis, Bohras, Parsis, and Sikhs.
“Pakistan now has a dubious distinction of being listed among the most dangerous countries for the practice of journalism. Journalists face threats, intimidation, are taken off the air, kidnapped and in some cases killed to silence critics of the Pakistani establishment,” Badhe said.
According to a Human Rights Watch study, Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) began investigating at least 12 journalists and activists in 2020 for violating the Electronic Crimes Act. According to the article, numerous journalists, including those from prominent news organizations, have been charged with sedition for criticizing the administration.
Source- Hindustan Times
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