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ICC Note:

Across Pakistan, Christians face widespread and daily discrimination. From the jobs they are allowed to hold to the sections of town their are allowed to live in, Christians in Pakistan are treated like second class citizens. Over the past seventy years, this discrimination has caused Pakistan’s Christian community to be relegated to the lowest sections of the country’s society. Unfortunately, many of Pakistan’s institutions, including local governments and schools, encourage and enforce this discrimination making possibilities for change and development near impossible. 

10/11/2017 Pakistan (Daily Times) – It seems the ongoing manifested discrimination against ethnic minorities has unconstitutionally become constitutional in the country as time and again, ethnic minorities’ issues of barefaced social injustices, bigotry, and tyranny are highlighted in the media, but customarily, heedless governments never ever take notice of the head-down minorities and their ever-increasing malaise.

Thus the culture of dogmatism is overshadowing the societal values of equality, tolerance, and justice. A few months ago, a discriminatory advertisement in KP where, Christians, Shias, Balmeeks, and Sikhs were singled out for cleaner’s job sparked criticism in the country, and a UK parliamentarian Jim Shannon wrote a letter to the Pakistani Premier to address the concerns of minorities. In September, the Punjab government’s advertisement aroused anger in the Christian community when the Lahore Waste Management Company advertised to keep the city clean as sanitary workers were on their religious festival during 9th and 10th of September, therefore, it was implied that as sanitary workers were Christians and during their absence, city would suffer. There was an outcry on the social media against the advertisement of LWMC.

Even Senator Kamran Michael had to intervene and promised to hold an inquiry, however, the Christian minority knows the outcome of the effort of the Christian parliamentarian. Recently, the police department of the Sindh government released almost similar advertisements to recruit sanitary workers with a clear restriction that jobs were ‘for non-Muslims only’.

With the blessings of media and social media at least the poor communities have their outlet of expression, perhaps they believe, one day their little cry will become a ‘roar’. Protesting against inequalities is the minorities’ right but there are certain duties, and responsibilities which lie on their shoulders too. Demanding rights must continue, but parallel to this we must fulfill our duties as well. For the last seventy years, minorities in Pakistan are suffering, protesting against the social hatred, discrimination and persecution but their grievances were never ever entertained. Is it not wise to change the direction of the struggle? Even after seventy years, minorities are unable to exercise their freedom of faith and secure equal rights, therefore, this is a time to revisit their traditional modus operandi and to adopt a system of self-accountability.

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