Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are used as justification to suppress the fundamental human rights of its religious minorities. Freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and free speech are among the rights jeopardized by Pakistan’s intolerant civil society and a government which fails to address systematic human rights abuses.
8/13/2015 Pakistan (Foreign Policy) – Representatives of minority religious communities have sought inclusion of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s August 11, 1947 speech in the constitution and sought an end to discrimination against them on the basis of their religious beliefs.
Talking to The Express Tribune on the occasion of National Minorities’ Day on Tuesday, they sought repeal of laws that discriminated against minority communities and demanded that all citizens be considered equal by the state without regard to their religious beliefs. They also urged the federal government to ensure security of life and property of minority communities in accordance with the Supreme Court judgment of June 2014.
The SC had directed the federal government to constitute a task force and ask it to develop a strategy for promotion of values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence in the society. The verdict had sought inclusion of chapters in school curricula for the purpose. Further, it asked the government to take appropriate steps to ensure that hate speech against a particular religious community was discouraged on social media platforms. Other directives in the judgment were for the establishment of a national council for safeguarding rights of minorities and a special police force for protection of minorities’ places of worship.