Religious freedom deteriorates in Pakistan: Women, children particularly 'vulnerable'

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 16, 2019, 08.40 AM(IST)

File photo of Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

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The UN commission has said that Christian and Hindu communities in Pakistan, especially women and girls are "particularly vulnerable" to violation of such rights.

In the latest report, the United Nations' commission on the status of women has said that religious freedom in Pakistan continues to "deteriorate" under the leadership of the present Imran Khan government.

The discriminatory legislation by the Imran-khan led government has empowered people with "extremist mindsets" to carry out attacks on religious minorities.

The UN commission has said that Christian and Hindu communities in Pakistan, especially women and girls are "particularly vulnerable" to violation of such rights.

In its 47-page detailed report titled, 'Pakistan-religious freedom under attack', released in December, The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a commission of the united nations economic and social council, has expressed concern over the volatile human rights situation in Pakistan.

The report has outlined major issues like increasing "weaponisation and politicisation" of the blasphemy laws and the anti-Ahmadiyya legislation which are being used by Islamist groups not only to persecute religious minorities but also to gain political ground.

The commission in its report has cited several prominent examples to substantiate that minorities in the country are reduced to second class citizens.

It contended that blasphemy laws in Pakistan, which criminalise anyone who insults Islam, are often misused to lodge false cases against the minorities.

Based on the report, each year hundreds of women under the age of 18, are abducted and forced to convert and marry Muslim men. With little or no hopes for being returned to their families.

Following these observations, the CSW has asked the Pakistan government to take more effective steps to prevent sectarian violence and hold the perpetrators of religious attacks to account.

(With inputs from ANI)