South Asia Minority Alliance Foundation (SAMAF) Chairman Nadeem Nusrat has warned that Pakistan would plunge into further diplomatic isolation if immediate measures are not taken to address the grievances of the country’s ethnic and religious minorities.
He expressed deep concern over reports of unlawful arrests and enforced disappearances of 24 young Christians in Pakistan.
In a statement issued to media, the chairman of US-based advocacy group strongly condemned these acts and demanded immediate recovery of the missing Christians.
South Asia Minority Alliance Foundation is an advocacy group raising awareness about the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in the region.
State brutalities against Mohajirs, Balochs, Pashtoons and the people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) have been a common occurrence in Pakistan. Unfortunately, these brutalities have now been extended to country’s religious minorities as well, and Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadis are being targeted on a daily basis in different parts of the country, the statement quoted Nadeem Nusrat, as saying.
“For years, Mohajirs, Balochs, and Pashtoons have been the victims of enforced disappearances in Pakistan. Hundreds of young Mohajir men have gone missing in Karachi alone having been abducted by Pakistan’s Punjabi-dominated security agencies,” the statement added.
As per reports emerging from Karachi, Pakistan’s Christian minority has also become a target of the notorious practice of enforced disappearances, as at least 24 Christian men have gone missing after being allegedly abducted by Pakistani law enforcement agencies in pre-dawn raids.
“These reports suggest that mask-wearing raiding officers routinely barge into houses of Christians in Karachi, often by forcibly breaking the doors, drag male members out of their beds and take them away,” read the statement.
The whereabouts of these men have not been revealed to their family members, lawyers and none has been produced before any court of law as yet.
Nusrat said that there have been numerous armed attacks on churches in Pakistan and the target killing of Christians is on the rise.
In Quetta, the heavily militarized capital city of restive Balochistan province, many Christians have been killed by militants belonging to state-sponsored religious extremists in the last few weeks, alleged Nusrat.
The controversial blasphemy law is also being used to suppress the voice of religious minorities in Pakistan. Many members of religious minorities have been killed by religious zealots or arrested on false charges under the blasphemy laws.
He further said that religious extremist groups working under the patronage of military establishment are fueling hatred and terror against the minorities including Christians. Hardliners within Pakistan’s military establishment are using these proxies to impose their hardline religious agenda in the country.
The statement even noted that the minorities in Pakistan are at the mercy of these jihadi groups who are operating freely without any fear.
The SAMAF Chairman said that our organization believes in religious harmony and equal rights for all minorities and is striving for the rights of all deprived classes in the region.
Nusrat said that SAMAF members are raising voice for Christians in their meetings with US lawmakers and at decision-making forums.
Nadeem Nusrat urged the US administration and world community to put more pressure on Pakistani authorities to stop human rights abuses and protect the lives and interests of all minorities in the country.