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ICC Note: Pakistani Christians fear the change in government following yesterday’s national elections will not improve their community’s situation. Imran Khan, head of the Tehreek-e-Insaf Party, looks set to become the next prime minister of Pakistan. On record, Khan is recorded giving support to the country’s blasphemy laws. Also, the unprecedented participation of radical religious groups in the elections also hs many Christians concerned.

07/26/2018 Pakistan (Premier) – A Christian religious freedom campaigner has said discrimination against Christians in Pakistan will not get better as the country headed to polls to vote for a new prime minister on Wednesday.

The leading contenders are former cricket star Imran Khan and his right-of-centre Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI) and the right-of-centre Pakistan Muslim League, the party of disgraced Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif is in jail serving ten years on corruption charges and his younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, has taken control of the party.

Wilson Chowdhry from the British Pakistani Christian Association, told Premier News Hour: “Imran Kahn has openly said he would not change the blasphemy laws and insure that it’s enforced.

“That blasphemy law has been a tool or discrimination and persecution for Christians since 1987.”

The unprecedented participation of radical religious groups, including those banned for terrorist links but resurrected and renamed, has also raised fears the space for moderate thought may shrink further in Pakistan.

Wilson added: “The tragedy is that for the first time in any election in Pakistan, no Christian candidates have been picked by any of the mainstream parties for the national assembly. We will be bereft of a voice whoever we vote for.”

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