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Pakistan Govt failing to protect religious minorities: Report

June 8, 2011 - Islamabad

The Pakistan Government is failing to protect the country's religious minorities, a new report has said.

The rising tide of vigilante violence and extremism is threatening Christians, Hindus and Ahmedis, the Jinnah Institute's report, 'A Question of Faith', said.

Findings of the report indicate that minorities in the country connect strongly with a Pakistani national identity even as they are persecuted on the basis of their religion.

The report criticises President Asif Ali Zardari's government for backing off from repealing, or even discussing Pakistan 's controversial blasphemy law, the BBC reports.

It documents growing incidents of mob violence against minority groups, and provides examples of abductions and forced conversions of minority women.

The report calls for repealing the country's controversial blasphemy law and urges the government to urgently undertake political and judicial reforms to ensure equality for Muslims and non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan.

The report, which is a research study compiled over the period December 2010 - April 2011, documents the deterioration in the political, social and economic status of members of religious minorities in Pakistan, particularly the rising tide of vigilante violence against them.

The report was prepared in consultation with members of several religious minorities across the country, human rights organizations and policy experts.

It listed recommendations for the redressal of grievances through constitutional amendments, political and judicial reform, sensitisation of media and revision of educational curricula that imparts discrimination or hatred against minorities.


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