Ahmadiyya Times

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Minorities abused in Pakistan as no religious freedom: US

The annual US State Department Report on Global Religious Freedom, which was released by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday, said “organised violence against minorities have increased” in Pakistan.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int’l Desk
Source/Credit: MSN News | India
By Agencies | November 18, 2010

Washington: The US on Thursday expressed concern over the discrimination against minorities in Pakistan, saying serious problems remain with regard to religious freedom in the country.

“There have been attacks against Christians, against the Ahmadis. There’s still discriminatory laws on the books, blasphemy laws, anti-Ahmadi laws. We’re raising these issues with the government of Pakistan,” said Michael Posner, the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour.

The annual US State Department Report on Global Religious Freedom, which was released by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday, said “organised violence against minorities have increased” in Pakistan.

“Organised violence against minorities increased; for example, there was violence against Christians in Gojra, Punjab, and a terrorist attack on Ahmadis in Lahore, Punjab,” it said, adding “There were instances in which law enforcement personnel abused religious minorities in custody”.

The Ahmadiyya community continued to face governmental and societal discrimination and legal bars to the practice of its religious beliefs. Members of other Islamic sects, Christians, Sikhs, and Hindus also reported governmental and societal discrimination, the report said.

Despite the government’s steps to protect religious minorities, the number and severity of reported high-profile cases against minorities increased during the reporting period from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

Posner, responding to questions after the release of the annual Religious Freedom report, said one of the things this report does is identify, in Pakistan and elsewhere, government actions that contribute to the problem.

It expressed concern over discriminatory legislation and the government’s failure or delay in addressing religious hostility by societal actors fostered religious intolerance, acts of violence, and intimidation against religious minorities.

During the reporting period, US embassy officials closely monitored the treatment of religious minorities, worked to eliminate the teaching of religious intolerance, and encouraged the amendment or repeal of the blasphemy laws, it added.

Source: Agencies

Read original post here: Minorities abused in Pakistan as no religious freedom: US

Filed under: Annual Report, Blasphemy, Human Rights, Minorities, persecution

Faith and Extremism: Serious problems remain in Pakistan on religious freedom: US

“Organised violence against minorities increased; for example, there was violence against Christians in Gojra, Punjab, and a terrorist attack on Ahmadis in Lahore, Punjab. “There were instances in which law enforcement personnel abused religious minorities in custody.”

Anti-Ahmadi and Anti Christian graffiti

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int’l Desk
Source/Credit: Hindustan Times | World
By Press Trust Of India | November 18, 2010

Noting that serious problems remain in Pakistan with regard to religious freedom, the Obama Administration has expressed its concern over the existence of laws that are “discriminatory” against religious minorities. “There have been attacks against Christians, against the Ahmadis. There’s still
discriminatory laws on the books, blasphemy laws, anti-Ahmadi laws.

“We’re raising these issues with the government of Pakistan,” assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and Labour, Michael Posner, said.

Posner was responding to questions after the release of the annual state department report on Global Religious Freedom by secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

“The (Pak) government is taking steps. It’s a very tense situation now, and there are tensions within the society. So it’s a mixed picture, honestly.

We give the government credit for steps its taken, but also recognise that more needs to be done. And it’s part of our diplomacy with them,” Posner said in response to a question.

One of the things this report does is identify, in Pakistan and elsewhere, government actions that contribute to the problem, he said.

The annual state department report said despite the government’s steps to protect religious minorities, the number and severity of reported high-profile cases against minorities increased during the reporting period.

“Organised violence against minorities increased; for example, there was violence against Christians in Gojra, Punjab, and a terrorist attack on Ahmadis in Lahore, Punjab.

“There were instances in which law enforcement personnel abused religious minorities in custody,” it said.

Security forces and other government agencies did not adequately prevent or address societal abuse against minorities.

Discriminatory legislation and the government’s failure or delay in addressing religious hostility by societal actors fostered religious intolerance, acts of violence, and intimidation against religious minorities, it said.

“Specific laws that discriminated against religious minorities included the anti-Ahmadi provisions of the penal code and the blasphemy laws which provided the death penalty for defiling Islam or its prophets,” said the report.

The Ahmadiyya community continued to face governmental and societal discrimination and legal bars to the practice of its religious beliefs. Members of other Islamic sects, Christians, Sikhs, and Hindus also reported governmental and societal discrimination, it said.

Read original post here: Serious problems remain in Pakistan on religious freedom: US

Filed under: Annual Report, Pakistan, persecution, State Dept.