The Sunday Times April 3rd 2016
See the Daily Times –Pakistan
Where is Jinnah’s Pakistan? by Nasir Saeed March 31, 2016
Saeed writes: “Instead of recognising minorities’ role in the making of Pakistan, and considering them equal citizens, it was suggested that non-Muslims had to enter into a covenant with the Islamic state. Sadly, because of Quaid-e-Azam’s untimely death, we lost his vision. The factions and groups who opposed the idea of Pakistan and Jinnah, began emphasising their ideas of Islam, which led to extremism, division in society and hatred against minorities. Politicians and bureaucrats intentionally ignored minorities to avoid confrontation with religious extremists, and until today we are reluctant to consider minorities equal citizens of Pakistan. Many Muslims still believe that non-Muslims are dhimmi, while a few consider them mohaideen (non-Muslims who have entered into contract with an Islamic government. But according to the founder of Pakistan, they are not dhimmi or mohaideen, but first, second and lastly are equal citizens of Pakistan. Pakistan was achieved as a result of democratic struggle.”
Subject: An article with a timeline of major attacks on minorities in Pakistan
The war on Christians
Attempt to prevent the world from seeing the conditions in which escaping Pakistani Christian refugees are kept:
Carnage in Lahore – Pakistan and UK Governments Failure to Challenge Persecution or the Culture of Impunity
Just one month ago, I launched a report in Parliament which catalogues the systematic campaign targeting Pakistan’s religious minorities, particularly Christians and Ahmadis, a campaign played out in a culture of impunity. The report followed evidence taking sessions, witness statements, and a visit I made to a detention centre where escaping Pakistani Christians are held.
The assassination, five years ago, of the country’s Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, was the curtain raiser for an orgy of bombings, killings, rapes, imprisonment and abductions, of which the Lahore massacre is the latest bloody and shocking example.
In 1947, Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah crafted a constitution which promised to uphold plurality and diversity and to protect all its citizens. Jinnah said: “You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the State…Minorities, to whichever community they may belong, will be safeguarded. Their religion, faith or belief will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom of worship. They will have their protection with regard to their religion, faith, their life and their culture. They will be, in all respects, the citizens of Pakistan without any distinction of caste and creed”.
In the aftermath of this systematic campaign of visceral hatred there is little evidence that Pakistan’s contemporary leaders are doing anything whatsoever to uphold Jinnah’s vision – and, equally, there is little evidence that more than £1 billion of British aid, given over the past two years, is doing anything to support beleaguered minorities, often the poorest of the poor, or to promote religious freedom or peaceful co-existence.
Just as disturbing as the UK Government’s refusal to describe the annihilation of Christians in Iraq and Syria as the genocide that it patently is, in Pakistan they say Christians in Pakistan merely experience “discrimination” not persecution. They should tell the grieving, mourning, families of Lahore how they come to that conclusion.
Please find an immediate link to the BBC documentary on detained Pakistani Christians. The password is Pakistan.
Chris Rogers’ Disturbing Report for the BBC on the conditions of Pakistani Christians held in detention centres:
For background also see:
19 February 2016
APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief Inquiry Finds UK Government Policy on Pakistani Religious Minorities Inadequate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Wednesday, 24 February, the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief launches its inquiry report on Freedom of Religion or Belief in Pakistan & UK Government Policy. The report challenges the Home Office’s Country Information and Guidance on Pakistani Christians and Christian converts while also finding that Ahmadis, Christians and Hindus in Pakistan face a real risk of persecution, the likelihood of which depends on their encounters with and actions amongst people of other faiths or beliefs.
The APPG inquiry’s main findings and recommendations include an urgent requirement for a new country guidance case regarding Pakistani Christians to provide sufficient and accurate guidance for Pakistani Christian asylum cases. At the very least, the APPG urges the Home Office to limit the use of the current AK and SK country guidance case in its Country Information and Guidance (CIG) report on Pakistani Christians and Christian converts to be used only for cases involving Evangelical Christians and blasphemy charges from non-State actors. In the report, the APPG urges the Home Office to acknowledge the strong evidence highlighting Pakistani authorities’ failure to protect minority religious communities from rights violations and amend its CIGs accordingly. The inquiry also highlights concerns about the possibility of internal relocation of Pakistani religious minorities, which the APPG urges the UK Home Office to recognise as unsafe and unviable.
Home Office staff involved in asylum cases, including interviewers, interpreters, case workers and presenting officers, are also recommended by the APPG to be sufficiently sensitised and trained in the different religious doctrines and terminologies of religious denominations in Pakistan, as well as the cultural contexts which have enabled and supported the persecution of members of Pakistan’s minority religious communities.
Furthermore, the APPG urges the UK Department for International Development to ensure that overseas development assistance is only provided to organisations and government departments in Pakistan that can demonstrate their understanding of and commitment to upholding Pakistan’s international human rights obligations. This appeal is made in conjunction with the recommendation that the Government of Pakistan be supported in maintaining its international obligations that include protecting freedom of religion or belief, repealing punishments that are cruel, inhumane and degrading or amount to torture and preventing hatred and incitement to violence that is broadcast on Pakistani media channels, including in the UK.
The APPG inquiry into the treatment of religious minorities in Pakistan and as asylum seekers stems Lord Alton’s visit to UNHCR’s Bangkok detention camp. During the visit, it was discovered that the UK Home Office’s CIG Report on Pakistani Christians and Christian converts, which states that such individuals are not at “a real risk of persecution”, was being used to justify unduly prolonging granting asylum to Christians fleeing Pakistan. The APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief subsequently launched an inquiry into the treatment of different religious communities in Pakistan and the adequacy of current UK Government policy regarding these communities. The report due to be launched on Wednesday 24th February is the result of the APPG’s three-month long investigations and analysis which draws on evidence from over 20 organisations, lawyers and academics.
At the launch of the report Lord Alton said:
Our report emerged from a visit to the detention centre in Bangkok where escaping Pakistan Christians are kept in degrading conditions. Instead of being helped to find asylum they have been left to fester while being told by the UNHCR that their cases will take years to process. In London, we then held evidence sessions at Westminster at which parliamentarians heard accounts of Christians being burnt alive, bombed, tortured, raped or mown down by murderers – while those responsible have been protected by a culture of impunity. Others have been imprisoned on spurious charges.
The official line of the UK Government is that there is no persecution, the reality is the opposite of that and our report dispenses with that illusion.
Pakistan is the biggest recipient of British aid – more than £1 billion in the last couple of years – and we should be demanding that British aid is used to protect minorities and to staunch the flow of refugees. And we need to dispense with the fiction that the Christian minority, and other minorities are treated fairly and justly. There is outright persecution and we should not hesitate in saying so.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TEOBIlZs1I&context=C3edb8c0ADOEgsToPDskJ55Bb422uTeEmiNJll-Iiz https://www.davidalton.net/?s=shahbaz+Bhatti&x=8&y=13 This weekend marks the first anniversary of the assassination of Clement Shahbaz Bhatti. Aged 42, the life of Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities, was cut short by self described Taliban assassins. His murderers scattered pamphlets describing him as a “Christian infidel”. The leaflets were signed “Taliban al-Qaida Punjab.”
The First Anniversary of the Death of Shahbaz Bhatti David Alton On March 2nd, 2011, aged 42, Clement Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities, was brutally murdered. His assassination not only robbed Pakistan’s National Assembly of a dedicated, honest, and able politician but his death also threw into sharp relief the plight of […]
http://britishpakistanichristian.blogspot.com/2012/01/lord-alton-speaks-out-for-minorities-in.html Pakistan Question January 19th 2012. 11.29 am Asked by Baroness Falkner of Margravine To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the Government of Pakistan and other interested parties regarding the current political situation in Pakistan. Baroness Warsi: My Lords, when I visited Pakistan last week, I called on Prime Minister […]
March 2nd: 5th Anniversary of the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti. February 24th: Report Launched at Westminster on the Persecution of Religious Minorities In Pakistan. Link to Chris Rogers Disturbing Report for the BBC.
https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2016/26-february/news/world/home-office-guidance-on-pakistan-has-serious-flaws-say-mpshttp://www.leadfamily.blogspot.comhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b072sbqr/our-world-thailands-asylum-crackdown Watch Chris Rogers’ disturbing documentary on the plight of incarcerated Pakistani Christians held in detention centres in Bangkok. You will need to use the password: Pakistan and click on this link:https://vimeo.com/user18375217/review/156847557/edd7ed8b33For UK viewers:http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b072sbqr/our-world-thailands-asylum-crackdown http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/01-Mar-2016/pakistani-minorities-and-the-british-parliament See Chris Rogers’ Disturbing Report for the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35654804 BBC ON LINEhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35654804 BBC […]
Debate on Overseas Aid – Is aid to Pakistan challenging intolerance and persecution and helping minorities? Dr.Paul Bhatti addresses members of both Houses of Parliament as persecution of Christians and other minorities continues to be raised in the British Parliament. Parliamentarians paid ribute to the memory of his murdered brother, Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities in Pakistan.
19 Nov 2015 : Column 372 7.01 pm Debate on Overseas Aid – Is aid to Pakistan challenging intolerance and persecution and helping minorities? Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): My Lords, I thank my noble friend for initiating this debate and join others in congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Barker of Battle, on his maiden […]
October Hearing on Eritrea to be followed by November Hearings in Parliament on Pakistani Christians and other minorities – Call for Evidence – Latest Replies From The British Government on Pakistani Escapees; New article “Why does the world stand idle as Pakistan persecutes Christians?”
ERITREA: Briefing in Parliament organised by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, to be chaired by Lord Alton of Liverpool, on Tuesday October 20th at 2.00pm in Committee Room 2A of the House of Lords. Opening Comments by lord Alton The Current Situation The human rights situation in Eritrea is one of the most deplorable in the […]
Full transcript: House of July 16 Lords Debate on Article 18: Stop Killing Christians – including speeches by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, and other senior Peers from many faith and humanist backgrounds
Freedom of Religion and Belief Motion to Take Note Watch the debate at: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/53d07cde-20ee-4f53-80d3-f4c075deb3d0?in=16:20:35https://freedomdeclared.org/ 4.20 pm Moved by Lord Alton of Liverpool To move that this House takes note of worldwide violations of Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the case for greater priority to be given by […]
The recent decision to award Malala Yousafzai the Nobel Peace Prize was a good one for women and a good one for Pakistan but the decision to sentence Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, to death was a bad one for all women, all minorities, people of all faiths, and Pakistan. The brutal killing of a […]
Paying A Price For Belief – the Assyrian Christians abducted by ISIS and face execution. Also, recent parliamentary interventions and the paltry sum we set aside to promote freedom of religion and belief
Also see: July 1st 2015 article on the targeting of Christians worldwide: http://www.geopolitical-info.com/en/article/1435726790089290800 8.01 pm: Thursday June 25th, 2015 Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): My Lords, Syria is the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our time, generating the largest movement of displaced people since World War II. We are all grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady […]
Report of A Lecture Given to The Disraeli Society at Christ Church, the University of Oxford, October 2013.http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/opinion/columns/10766682.YOURS_FAITHFULLY__Let___s_be_tolerant_of_other_people___s_beliefs/At the very moment when the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby was taking place in Woolwich, the House of Lords had just begun a debate about religious violence in Pakistan. Pakistan: Religious Violence Read full debate