At UN, India raises the issue of misuse of blasphemy laws by Pakistan against minorities

WION United Nations, United States Sep 25, 2020, 09.54 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Senthil Kumar, Indian diplomat to UN in Geneva Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

Misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan is something that has been talked about at the international level, especially when it comes to the case of Christian Pakistani women Asia Bibi who later got asylum in Canada.

India raised the issue of misuse of the blasphemy law in Pakistan against minorities.

According to India, currently at least 80 people in prison in Pakistan for the crime of "blasphemy", with at least half of them facing life sentences or the death penalty. At least 42 cases pertaining to blasphemy were registered across Pakistan in a single month.

Indian diplomat to UN in Geneva, Senthil Kumar said, "Pakistan’s deplorable human rights records and discriminatory treatment of its minorities has been a cause of persistent concern for the international community"

Explaining, "In Pakistan, Blasphemy laws are being used against religious minorities such as Christians, Hindus and Sikhs, to violate their human rights and dignity.".

Misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan is something that has been talked about at the international level, especially when it comes to the case of Christian Pakistani women Asia Bibi who later got asylum in Canada.

Senthil Kumar highlighted, "Enforced disappearances, state violence and forced mass displacements, harassment, extrajudicial killings, army operations, torture, kill-and-dumps, torture camps, detention centers, military camps" being a "regular features in Baluchistan". 

India cited the example of the disappearance of Rashid Hussain in December 2018, and the killing of journalist Sajid Hussain Baloch after he went missing in March 2020.

He said, "nobody knows the fate of missing 47,000 Baloch and 35,000 Pashtuns till date. Sectarian violence has claimed more than 500 Hazaras in Baluchistan and more than 100,000 Hazaras have fled Pakistan."

He also slammed Islamabad for a similar situation in Pakistan occupied Kashmir saying, "before preaching to others Pakistan must remember that terrorism is the worst form of human rights abuse and a crime against humanity" and "the world doesn’t need lessons on human rights from a country which has been known as nursery and epicentre of Terrorism".