Religious minorities: ‘Intolerance and discrimination undermining rights’

National director of CLAAS says non-Muslims under threat of violence due to religious of intolerance.


Express January 14, 2011

LAHORE: Joseph Francis, national director of the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS,) has expressed concern over the “intolerance, violence and discrimination in the name of religion” in Pakistan.

In a statement released on Thursday, Francis said that Pakistani non-Muslims were under threat of violence due to religious intolerance. He criticised speeches by leaders of some Islamist political groups at pro-blasphemy law rallies, saying they had urged people to break the law. He said appropriate reform of the blasphemy laws would discourage their abuse. He accused the government of maintaining a “criminal silence” over the extra-judicial killing of people wrongly accused of blasphemy. “Salmaan Taseer was a good human being and his sympathetic attitude towards humanity was remarkable, especially his support for a Christian woman (Aasia Bibi) awaiting execution under the blasphemy law.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2011.

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