The White Under Siege in Pakistan:

Sajjad shah

There is no escaping the reality that the White is being wiped out from the Green flag which is another grave issue facing the already unsafe minorities in Pakistan. It is unfortunate that the ascendancy in the persecution of minorities has become such a nerve-wrenching blowback to the weak White in our society. In the same fashion, the situation is highly murky in a sense that law is frail in the case of minorities rights which is often taken by the Islamists to always throw them in the wood.

This is destroying the fabric of our society. Furthermore, the unleashing attacks on religious places and events have intensified over the period of time. It is a besetting and alarming condition of this land of pure for society as a whole. Unlike other countries, Pakistan is faced with a highly shrinking space for the five percent of the population of this country in social, political and economic spheres. This writes up would deliberate on the horrific and horrendous factors responsible in endangering, creating outgrowth and rendering Way-out to the unprotected White in Pakistan.

The White is metaphorically used to represent the religious minorities of the country, which include the Ahmedi, Shia, Sikhs, Ismailis, Hindus and Christians citizens of Pakistan.

There are multitudes of reasons for why the White is under siege, but the most destructive factor is the religious extremism against the minorities in Pakistan. According to the Center for Research and Security Studies, Annual Security Report 2019, in the same year alone, 28 Shias and two Ahmedis were murdered in targeted attacks because of their faith. This happens due to over religiosity in our society which is setting the persecution of minority a norm rather an aberration. Thus, there is no denying the truth that religious fundamentalism burns down the safe avenues of religious minorities.

Moreover, among the myriad other reasons which have greatly contributed to the growth of unsafe places of minorities, the most prominent amongst them is the state’s failure in safeguarding the White in the country. As a matter of fact, the state has failed time and again in securing the minority communities in Pakistan. Consequently, it has led to the persecution of Ahmedi, Hazara, Christian and Hindu communities in our society.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, around 1000 young Hindu and Christian women are forced to change their religion each year. This is a perplexing plight of religious minorities in Pakistan. Recently, an alleged Ahmedi man who was accused of blasphemy was killed in the courtroom of Peshawar by a so-called hero, Khalid. Hence, it is the failure of the state to protect its minority communities.

Furthermore, forced marriages of the minorities have also thrown them into between devil and deep sea in this society. This is the most besetting issue which has become rampant in this country especially in Sindh. To demonstrate, a minor Christian girl, Arzo Raja was forcefully married to a 40-years old man a few days back. Such incidents have accelerated in the Imran Khan-led government, unfortunately. The young minority girls get abducted and raped at large. Not only this, but the Sikh community has also raised the issue of forced conversions in Punjab. In August 2019, a 19-year-old, Jagit Kaur was forcibly converted to Islam. After the intervention of the Punjab government, the Sikh girl was returned home in September 2019. This is not a new phenomenon in our society. Therefore, the forced marriages of the minority women is a significant factor responsible for endangering the White in Pakistan.

In addition to this, the misuse of anti-blasphemy laws is a case in point that is besieging the minorities in this country. Notably, the biased use of such laws aggrandises against the religious minorities day by day. In particular, the articles 295 and 295-A speak, “deliberate injury or defiling place of worship, and with the intent to insult the religion of any class” would face the death sentence or life imprisonment with a fine. But, unfortunately, there are a number of that have proved to be false. For instance, the acquittal of Asia Bibi by The Supreme Court of Pakistan is a glaring example of such instances of misuse of blasphemy laws in this society. Therefore, the false use of anti-blasphemy laws is another cause of besieged religious minority in Pakistan.

So far, the hideous factors responsible for endangering the religious minorities have been talked over. Now, the discourse moves towards the discussion of the grave implications in different walks of life of the religious minorities.

Besides this, the minorities are being wiped out from the land of pure is a perplexing offshoot of the unsafe White in Pakistan. To illustrate, a considerable number of minority people have left the country in accordance with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. The religious minorities migrate to abroad to ascertain their protection. Indeed, the religious minorities feel safer in Western countries like Australia, England, Canada and America than in Pakistan which should be shameful for all of us. We have almost compelled the Ahmedi Community to flight off this country. Hence, leaving Pakistan away is an immense fallout of endangered religious communities in the country.

Similarly, ascendency in the persecution of religious minorities is another case of outgrowth of unsafe minorities in Pakistan. The religious places of Hindus are often under siege in Umerko, Gotki, Shikarpur and Larkana, Sindh. As a matter of bitter fact, in May 2018, a 100-year-old Ahmedi mosque was besieged and damaged in Sialkot, Punjab. A large throng stormed and vandalized a Hindu Temple in Sindh’s city of Gotki for the accusation that a Hindu principal committed blasphemy. This rise in the torture of religious minorities is wording fact which is throwing them in the wood of complete wipeout from this land of pure.

In order to render the safest space to the religious minorities of this country, there is a dire need to take some revolutionary steps on the part of the government and the state.

Curtailing hate speech would ensure the safety of the White among the Green. Initially, this would stop prejudice against religious minorities in Pakistan. And besides this, it would also end the manipulation of one religion against another. Rather, it would strengthen the narrative weak religious minorities while reducing biases against the Christians, Hindus, Ismailis, Ahmedis and Shias in our society. This curbing religious hate speech would be productive in ensuring a safe space for minorities in Pakistan.

In addition to this, in order to protect and provide a safeguarded room to the religious minorities, the government has to do away with blasphemy laws which are being misused in day-to-day affairs these days. Importantly, the elimination of such laws would also get the religious minorities out of the wood of religious trap. It would eventually strengthen weak religious minorities. Hence, it would prove to be a positive-resultant to save religious minorities.

To cut the story short, the economic backwardness is an annoying consequence of unsecured religious minorities of Pakistan. Similarly, social unrest in society is another aftershock of this minority enigma. Indeed, national disunity, political instability and political polarization under the incumbent government are part and parcel of besieged religious minorities in this country. Moreover, the prevalence of injustice is also a side-reaction of unprotected religious minorities. Consequently, social inequality rises to the brim of Green Glass. As a result, the people are compelled to embrace lawlessness in this country even during the Pandemic, COVID-19. Nonetheless, a few steps if taken can bring the religious minorities on the track of safety in Pakistan. In fact, the government needs to strengthen the rule of law. Besides, it should also regularize religious seminaries. The increase in quotas for religious minorities in the National Assembly would also boost the confidence in them. The implementation of constitutional rights that guarantee protection to religious minorities, introduction of special laws to safeguard them, dismantling blasphemy laws and integrating a major chunk of religious communities would cement their foundations and ensure their safety in Pakistan. Furthermore, this write-up spelt out the offensive and the most devastating reasons of the religious, the grave and far-reaching ramifications of and way-outs to ensure the protection of religious minorities in Pakistan.

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