02/14/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – In January, the Swabi District Council, located in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, voted to only employ Christians as sweepers in the district’s hospitals. This vote reinforces a negative stereotype of Christians in Pakistan simply because of their religious identity.
The members of the Swabi District Council adopted the measure unanimously and demanded that all Muslims currently posted as sweepers be transferred to other jobs, such as guards. According to Akmal Khan, a member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the measure was adopted in accordance with a court order.
However, when questioned by SAMAA Digital, Khan was unable to specify when the court gave that order and in what case it was given.
Due to widespread religious discrimination, Pakistani Christians are often treated as second class citizens. For many Muslims in Pakistan, Christians are considered spiritually polluted and untouchable because of the religion that they follow. In the professional setting, this discriminatory status relegates Christians to menial and dirty jobs.
This discrimination is readily apparent when looking at statistics regarding sweepers and sewer workers, often thought of as Pakistan’s filthiest jobs. Although Christians only make up only 2% of Pakistan’s total population, they represent 80% of Pakistan’s sweepers and sewer workers.
With the Swabi District Council voting that only Christians should be sweepers in district hospitals, they are reinforcing a stereotype that views Christians as second class citizens.
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