Persecution of Christian minorities in Pakistan: Roots, development and present-day realities

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Pakistan ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 2010, committing to upholding the Treaty and human rights. The ICCPR, which came into force in 1976, recognised ‘the inherent dignity of each individual and undertakes to promote conditions within states to allow the enjoyment of civil and political rights. Countries that have ratified the Covenant are obligated to protect and preserve basic human rights and to take administrative, judicial, and legislative measures in order to protect the rights enshrined in the treaty. This Policy Brief argues that Pakistan plays a doublegame as a member of the ICCPR that also persecutes religious minorities. The oppression of minorities has become systemic in Pakistan’s top-down and bottom-up jihad nexus of state and non-state actors forming alliances to work together in targeting minorities. From 2018 until 2020, Pakistan will sit as an elected member on the Human Rights Council. This is a timely opportunity for Pakistan to effectively implement the rights enshrined in the ICCPR to its domestic legal order and take urgent steps to bring an end to violations of religious freedom. First and foremost, this report will examine the 9 March 2018 Islamabad High Court ruling on religious minorities that states every Pakistani citizens’ religious affiliation must be written on their identity cards. Second, this report will analyse Pakistan’s historical and socio-political development and national educational system that have radicalized Pakistani society. Third, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, namely Section 295-C is Pakistan’s most severe provision for punishing by death the use of derogatory remarks in respect of the Holy Prophet will be investigated. And lastly, cases of Christian persecutions will be illustrated to detail the severity of the issue.

Document type: Working paper
Publisher: South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF)
Place of Publication: Brussels
Date: 2018
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2021
Number of Pages: 56
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Religion
Political science
Controlled Keywords: Pakistan, Menschenrecht, Verfolgung, Religiöse Minderheit, Radikalismus
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pakistan, Menschenrecht, Verfolgung, Religiöse Minderheit, Radikalismus, Recht, Blasphemie, Christenverfolgung / Pakistan, Human Rights, Persecution, Religious Minority, Radicalism, Law, Blasphemy, Persecution of Christians
Subject (classification): Politics
Religion and Philosophy
Countries/Regions: Pakistan
Series: Themen > SADF Policy Brief
Volume: 7
Additional Information: ISSN: 2406-5625