Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, a valuable treasure for the minorities of Pakistan
On November 24th-25th 2015, the International Interfaith Conference was held in Islamabad. Mr. Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, Chairman Pakistan Minorities Alliance, represented the minorities including the Christian community of Pakistan. It was a blessing for us to see how bravely he spoke against the injustice and discrimination the minorities in Pakistan are facing.
Mr. Tahir Naveed Chaudhry is undoubtedly a treasure for the Christians and the entire minority population of Pakistan. His sincere efforts must be highly appreciated by all those who wish Pakistan to become a peaceful place for the people belonging to different faiths. During his precious speech he mentioned the following points:
- After the establishment of the first Islamic state of Medina there was a pact signed between the Islamic authorities and the non-Muslims, and the rules of how the minorities will be treated were set. It was mentioned in the pact that Muslims will protect Minority´s lives and properties, their women won´t be forced to convert to Islam and that their worship places will be respected.
- The founder of Pakistan, Quaid e Azam said during his speech on 11th August 1947 that; “every citizen would be free to follow his own religion. The State shall make no distinction between the citizens on the grounds of faith.” But it is extremely sad to say that we were not able to fulfill Jinnah´s dream.
- Article 25 of the constitution of Pakistan considers all Pakistanis equal citizens. But article 41 (after the amendment of 1973) is a contradiction to that while declaring “A non-Muslim cannot become the head of state.”
- Another contradiction within the constitution of Pakistan is the 18th amendment which restricts a non-Muslim to become the Prime Minister of the state.
- Since the birth of Pakistan there was never a non-Muslim found involved in extremism, terrorism or anti state activities.
- There is discrimination in Pakistan´s education sector as well since the Muslim students who memorize the Quran get 20 extra marks but on the contrary the students who belong to minorities have no such privilege as their knowledge of scriptures other than Quran is not given any value.
- Recently a 13 years old Christian girl was abducted, forced to convert to Islam and then forced to marry a Muslim against her will which shows that minorities are not protected in Pakistan.
- There is religious extremism against minorities especially against Christians in Pakistan. Christians respect all other faiths and scriptures but yet the mistake of one person results in the burning of Christians alive and their colonies such as the incidents of Shanti Nagar, Gojra & Joseph Colony etc. What name should we give to the mob that becomes blood thirsty for the Christian community? Which religion do they belong to when they punish the whole community for one man´s crime?
- Laws are made for the betterment of the society and not for persecuting the minorities. Pakistan´s blasphemy law must not be misused or abused against the people of faiths other than Islam. Those who falsely accuse the minorities must be punished as well by the law.
- The minorities are also discriminated by the media of Pakistan, Their achievements are not highlighted neither their suffering is brought into the light in a way that they truly deserve.
- Minority’s representatives must be appointed into the decision making community from regional to national level as they are also part of the nation of Pakistan.
- Establish hotline for minorities enabling them to inform their problems and urgent issues to the authorities.
We express our sincere thanks to Mr. Tahir Naveed Chaudhry for raising such important issues in defense of minorities on an international platform. We highly appreciate his efforts for the betterment of minorities in Pakistan and for his struggle to get the equal rights and respect for them in Pakistan. God bless you Sir.
The link to the video of Mr. Tahir Naveed Chaudhry´s speech: