United Nations slams Pakistan over religious freedom

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Dec 15, 2019, 11.04 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In its 47-page detailed report titled, 'Pakistan- religious freedom under attack', the UN commission expressed concern over the volatile human rights situation in Pakistan.

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women has slammed Pakistan saying that religious freedom in the country continues to "deteriorate" under the leadership of the present 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 report stated. 

The Commission added that Christian and Hindu communities in Pakistan, especially the females, are "particularly vulnerable" to violation of such rights.

In its 47-page detailed report titled, 'Pakistan- religious freedom under attack', the UN commission 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 that 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 the minorities in the country are reduced to second class citizens...

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

As per 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 Commission has asked the Pakistan government to take more effective steps to prevent sectarian violence and hold the perpetrators of religious attacks to account.