Human rights and religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate at an unprecedented rate in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan during 2019 – 2020. Pakistan’s widespread violation of human rights and its tolerance of human rights violations by non-state actors demonstrate a blatant disregard for its obligations under international human rights norms. As a result, Pakistan remained on the U.S. State Department’s list of Countries of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, for its “systematic, ongoing, [and] egregious violations of religious freedom” against its religious minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Ahmadiyya Muslims, and Shia Muslims (U.S. Department of
State, 2018; Pompeo, 2019).
The blasphemy laws, restrictions on the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith, and forced conversions of Hindu and Christian girls particularly plagued religious minorities. According to Human Rights Watch’s 2019
Country Report on Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are abducted and forcibly converted to Islam every year, and the government does little to stop such incidents (Human Rights Watch, 2019). Often, after being abducted, these girls are forcibly married to unknown men, raped, sold off, or forced into prostitution. Moreover, the constitutional preference for Islam and religious identification laws institutionalized the discrimination and second-class status of minorities. Legislation
requiring Compulsory courses on the Quran at all public universities in Punjab province was passed in 2020 and secondary school textbooks continued to include inflammatory content on religious minorities.
Hindus and other minorities remain enslaved by the bonded labor system, and are subjected to attacks
on religious sites and the illegal occupation of temples, and other acts of intolerance at the hands of non-state actors with complicit or implicit support of government officials. In order to escape these rampant religious freedom violations, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, and Ahmaddiya Muslims have increasingly fled the country in the last several years.
For the entire article click here- HAF-2020-Human-Rights-Report-Pakistan
Content Courtesy- Hindu American Foundation