June 2011 – Islamabad
As part of its Open Democracy Initiation, the Jinnah Institute has issued “A Question of Faith: A Report on the Status of Minorities in Pakistan.” The case studies set out in the report were selected from 125 interviews with members of some of Pakistan’s religious minority communities. As explained by the the Institute’s president, Sherry Rehman, the report “documents the deterioration in the political, economic and social status of members of these communities in the context of the rising tide of vigilante violence and religious extremism in the country.”
“Two critical questions are addressed by the findings of this report,” Ms Rehman continues. “First, will Pakistan continue to discriminate against its citizens and turn a blind eye to the spread of cultures of cruelty and vigilantism? Second, will the majority of Pakistanis continue to condone and collude in the discrimination and persecution of minorities? These questions have become particularly relevant over the past year which saw violent attacks against the Christian and Ahmadi communities; extremist protests against amendments to the controversial blasphemy laws; and a rise in the number of cases of blasphemy brought against members of minority communities. The brutal assassinations of two staunch advocates of minority rights Salman Tasseer, Governor of the Punjab and Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister for Minorities highlight the fact that urgent action is needed, and the recommendations of this report (pp. 7-10) need to be addressed.”
“In producing this work, the Jinnah Institutes supports a transition from Pakistan’s institutionalized ‘two-tiered’, citizenship (i.e. Muslim and non-Muslim), in to one that ensures equality of all citizens and the plurality that was envisioned by Mohammad Ali Jinnah.”
To view the complete report please see the link below.