Religious Minority Rights in Pakistan Recognized Only on Paper
07/28/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to Asia News, Saleem Masih, a 24-year-old Christian man, was beaten to death for bathing in a tube-well used by Muslims in Baguyana village in February 2020. This brutal incident, unfortunately, is only one of many recent indications of how religious minorities in Pakistan are vulnerable to discrimination and persecution.
Masih’s father, Ghafoor, spoke with Asia News about the incident that led to his son’s death. “I saw my son bleed, bruised, unconscious,” Ghafoor told Asia News. “I shouted his name, splashed water on his face, and gently slapped him to wake him up, but he no longer moved.”
Although Pakistan’s Constitution protects religious freedom, religious minorities continue to be discriminated against in terms of political representation, equality, and education.
Pakistan became independent from India for the sake of religious freedom. However, cases of persecution, like the incident that led to Saleem Masih’s death, are increasing. This is not only true for Pakistan’s Christians, but also the country’s other religious minorities.
Religious discrimination goes back to 1949, according to Asia New. In that year, the Constituent Assembly approved a resolution where all laws in Pakistan must conform with Islamic precepts. Since the measure was adopted and more discriminatory laws, such as Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws, were added to the country’s legal code, religious minorities have lived in fear and faced significant discrimination.
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