The Pakistan Christian Congress (P.C.C.) has accused the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC of pursuing a policy of religious apartheid against the Pakistani Christian community in the United States.
P.C.C. president Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti, who is now a resident of Philadelphia, Penn., said in a Press statement Thursday evening, “It seems like Mian Nawaz Sharif government has decided to totally ignore Christians not only in Pakistan but also the Pakistani Christian Diaspora in the U.S. as he refused to meet Christians of Pakistani origin in Washington DC.”
Dr. Bhatti further said, “The policy of apartheid against Christians was duly displayed by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC when the embassy considered only Muslims as part of the Pakistani Community and invited them to attend a luncheon addressed by Mian Nawaz Sharif.”
Last week, the bipartisan United States Commission for International Religious Freedoms had urged President Barrack Obama to raise concerns about the dire religious freedom situation in Pakistan during his meeting with Mr. Sharif.
“Based on U.S.C.I.R.F. findings, Pakistan represents one of the worst situations in the world for religious freedom,” said U.S.C.I.R.F. Chairman Robert George. “The September attack on All Saints Church that killed close to 100 worshippers underscores Pakistan’s exceedingly poor religious freedom situation.”
The September 22 attack in Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pashtunkhwa, was one of the worst terror attacks of its kind in the northwestern city.
U.S.C.I.R.F.’s Religious Violence Project found that religious freedom violations in Pakistan have risen to unprecedented levels, and the government continues to fail to protect Christians, Shi’a, Ahmadis, and Hindus.
Pakistani Muslims who believe in justice for all attest to the plight of Christians in Pakistan. “Most Christians in Pakistan toil at the lowest rungs of the society,” Toronto-based Umar Farooq, who was a student activist at the University of Karachi during the martial law regime of General Ziaul Haq said on the net Thursday. “Most of them are employed in menial jobs that are considered unclean by majority of the Muslims,” he added.
Dr. Nazir Bhatti said the All India Christian League supported the All India Muslim League in the creation of Pakistan. “But it seems like Muslims in Pakistan have now decided to push Christians from the mainstream of society,” he said.
The Christian leader said voting rights of Pakistani Christians have been snatched, their Churches are attacked, and Christian women forcibly converted to Islam while Christian youth are denied jobs and education in Pakistan.
Religious minorities like Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis and Shias have lived in a state of fear in Pakistan since the late 1970s when Mr. Sharif’s mentor, the late dictator Gen. Ziaul Haq, who was a darling in the eyes of Washington, began to Islamize Pakistan society.
©Mustikhan News Syndicate