Pakistani minorities enjoying equal rights, minister tells moot | Pakistan Today

Pakistani minorities enjoying equal rights, minister tells moot

–Afridi slams India for unleashing terror against its minorities, especially Muslims
–AJK president urges world to take notice of Indian brutalities on Kashmiris
–NCCP chief calls for ensuring equal rights for Pakistani minorities, condemns Indian violence on Kashmiris 
ISLAMABAD: Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, Shehryar Khan Afridi on Tuesday said that the world should learn from Pakistan’s model of equal treatment of its minorities.
Addressing participants of a seminar held here at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) with regard to the World Minorities Day, Afridi said that the sole objective to observe this day was to make the whole world realise the significance of the rights of minorities.
Afridi said that the Indian government has unleashed a reign of terror on Indian minorities and Muslims are specifically being targetted. “In February this year, 36 Muslims were butchered, some even burned to death by Hindu mobs in New Delhi while scores of mosques were also razed to the ground. Indian atrocities on minority communities in general and Kashmiris in particular are on the rise,” he added.
“It’s not just Muslims, but Dalits and Christians are also being exterminated systematically,” he said.
He said that the world community carries a responsibility to provide right of self determination to the people of Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJK). “It’s about time that the developed world must intervene before it’s too late,” he added.
Addressing the moot, Azad Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan said that Kashmiri society was very compassionate and there was full religious freedom for minorities in Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
He said that the RSS regime was propagating and practicing fascism. He said that unlike Pakistan which was created in the name of Islam, India was created in the name of secularism. However, he said the BJP government had unleashed a reign of terror towards Indian Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Dalits.
He said that Kashmiris have been killed, maimed and incarcerated under a plan to turn the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir into a minority. “The world community needs to take notice of the systematic cleansing of Kashmiris: there would be no Kashmiri to defend in next two or three years.”
In his speech, Rt Reverend Bishop Dr Azad Marshall, president of the National Council of Churches in Pakistan (NCCP), said that Quaid-e-Azam wanted minorities to be treated equally in Pakistan.
“Christian lawmakers in Punjab Assembly voted for Pakistan in the 1940s. We need to set a new model of harmony, coexistence and prosperity of minorities in Pakistan, ” he stressed.
Condemning Indian atrocities on Kashmiris, Bishop Marshall said that there have been over 15,000 reported incidents of looting, vandalising and burning of Christian churches in India in the recent years.
“We also condemn the brutalities being meted out against Kashmiris and we pray that our Kashmiri brethern are freed from the illegal occupation soon,” he asserted.
Hindu MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani said that India’s maltreatment of its minorities had put a question mark on its claim of being a secular country.
KPK MPA Ranjeet Singh said that there is no doubt that minorities are enjoying equal rights in Pakistan.
Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]