Published On: Fri, Sep 14th, 2018

Pakistan strong on minority rights

The government of Pakistan rejects the contents of “Partition of India and the Issue of Religious Minorities” by Nadeem Nusrat (Web, Aug. 13).

It is regrettable that your esteemed publication has chosen to give prominent space to a member of MQM, a group which has for many years indulged in violence against civilians in some of Pakistan’s major cities, particularly Karachi. Mr. Nusrat’s anti-Pakistan bias is evident from his use of South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation as a platform. The organization claims to articulate the rights of minorities in South Asia but targets only Pakistan. It also fails to mention discrimination against minorities in other South Asian countries, such as India, where there are anti-Muslim riots.

The author falsely argues that religious minorities have been targeted in Pakistan. Pakistan, being a frontline state in the war on terror for nearly two decades, has been indiscriminately targeted by violent extremists. Places of worship, courts, schools, parks and markets have been attacked regardless of sect or faith.

Contrary to the article, Pakistan has a strong track record of positive action for the protection of minorities’ rights. The recent passage of Hindu Marriage Bill in Sindh and Sikh Marriage Act in Punjab Assemblies is indicative of the legislative actions being taken to protect the rights of minorities.

Minorities have fair representation in Pakistan’s parliament. In addition to having reserved seats, minorities are free to contest against general seats from anywhere in the country. In the July 2018 general elections, 10 parliamentarians who represent religious minorities became members of our National Assembly (the lower house of the parliament).

In future, we hope that The Washington Times will consider the facts and evidence presented in keeping with its reputation of accurate reporting and fair analysis.

ABID SAEED Press minister, Embassy of Pakistan Washington

Source: LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pakistan strong on minority rights – Washington Times

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