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Lip service isn’t enough – Intentions and actions need to be clear


While Imran Khan addressed mammoth gatherings in Lahore, Karachi and Quetta, he consistently avoided to condemn the atrocities on the minorities. The religious parties have meanwhile maintained a conspiratorial silence over the killings.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int’l Desk
Source/Credit: Pakistan Today
By Pakistan Today | September 6, 2012

For more than four years and a half, Pakistan’s mainstream parties have witnessed the inhuman treatment meted out to minorities with unconcern and apathy. With the elections due within months, Rehman Malik, Altaf Hussain, Mian Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan have suddenly realized that the minorities are being cruelly persecuted. Interestingly, they are still not willing to go beyond empty expressions of sympathy.

Soon after the PML-N formed government in Punjab in 2008, an entire Christian village in Gojra was burnt down and several Christians killed on the instigation of a cleric. Two years later, 94 Ahmadis were gunned down on a single day in Lahore. Balochistan, ruled jointly by the PPP, PML-Q and JUI-F, has been turned into the killing fields for the Hazara Shia minority. In Sindh ruled by the PPP, MQM and ANP “secular and liberal” trio, kidnappings for ransom and forced conversions have led hundreds belonging to the Hindu community to leave the country and opt for Indian citizenship.
A sitting PPP MNA has been accused of encouraging and facilitating the forced conversions. Members of the Shia community continue to be killed not only in Karachi but also in Peshawar, the capital city of KP ruled jointly by the PPP and ANP. The opposition has fared no better. While Imran Khan addressed mammoth gatherings in Lahore, Karachi and Quetta, he consistently avoided to condemn the atrocities on the minorities. The religious parties have meanwhile maintained a conspiratorial silence over the killings.

With elections in sight, every leader has suddenly started expressing solidarity with the minorities. One would welcome this if this did not simply amount to impotent articulation of sympathy. In case these parties are sincere they can do a lot that can help bring the atrocities to an end. Instead of deciding not to touch the blasphemy law, the PPP should pick up courage to remove the loopholes which help the extremists to misuse it. Unless it does so its claim of being the defender of the minorities is liable to be questioned. The PML-N ruling the largest province which also happens to be the birthplace of all terrorist sectarian outfits needs to muzzle those who continue to incite hatred through sermons, videos and pamphlets. It must also take action against the banned organizations working under new names. Instead of launching a march to North Waziristan, Imran Khan should plainly tell the tribal leaders in FATA to stop harbouring the terrorist outfits which kill innocent Christians, Hindus, Shias and Ahmadis. Unless political leaders take practical steps to stop the ongoing barbarities, few inside or outside the country are likely to take their words seriously.

Read original post here: Lip service isn’t enough – Intentions and actions need to be clear

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