January 10, 2017
Former Christian lawmaker Saleem Khurshid Khokhar laments the revocation of Minorities Protection Bill by Sindh government. The bill prohibited forced conversions and carried punishment for those found guilty of forcing others to convert from their religion.
Ex-MPA Saleem Khursheed Khokhar, who also held the position of Chairman Standing Committee on Minorities Affairs Sindh Assembly explained that ever since the bill got a green signal from the Assembly some religious parties rallied against the proposed legislation; they termed it against Islam. Some people do not tolerate anything other than Islam and Islamic laws in Pakistan, he said. He announced that a campaign will be launched against return of the said bill.
At the same time, another former Christian lawmaker MPA Stephen Asif from Birmingham said that the revocation of the bill has revealed the real face of Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League (N). He said that these mainstream political parties treat minorities from other religions as non-humans.
Remarking in this regard, Toronto-based Chairman CLF Khalid Gill condemned the revocation of the said bill and asserted that this issue will not die, and that he will run a campaign against this revocation. Christian lawyer Advocate Jacqueline Sultan said that religious parties are opposing the legislation. This legislation, she said, was intended to put a lid on the increasing forced conversions of non-Muslims. She said that minorities’ girls were abducted, and forced to convert oftentimes by forced into marriages.
Advocate Jacqueline Sultan, said that the legislation has irked some of the religious and political outfits. She said that some elements do not want non-Muslim citizens to live peacefully in Pakistan, and their aim is to obliterate other faiths from the country.
While condemning the revocation, Advocate Jacqueline said that government of Pakistan adopts such policies which do not facilitate non-Muslims. She said that government always tries to please the religious outfits and does not ponder about the situation of minorities. Minorities are left with no other option but to raise voices against discrimination and injustice. She urged that the authorities must pass the bill so that the minorities can be protected under the law.