Attacks on Hindus for blasphemy show Pakistan doesn't respect human rights

No one can certify or question others' faith; it's a something very personal to the individual.

 |  2-minute read |   28-07-2016
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We live in a time that is marred by rampant violation of human rights. People are killed in Pakistan in the name of blasphemy and are forced to live in fear.

But who should certify if others have faith in religion or not? Should it be left to a particular individual or group? Is the faith of that individual or group above all doubts then?

The fact is, no one can certify or question others' faith; it's a something very personal to the individual.

Also read: Brutal assault on 80-year-old Hindu man in Pakistan leaves us shattered

However, religion is misused to kill people in the name of blasphemy and the politicians of Pakistan are aware of this. Yet the government is not able to bring a change in the law to rectify this, nor are people allowed to debate a possible law, lest they are accused of blasphemy.

People have been targeted in the name of blasphemy in the Punjab province, and also in Sindh - the hub of Sufism, and a place where the majority of the Hindus of Pakistan live.

hindus-in-pak-embed_072816041107.jpg Two Hindu boys attacked in Sindh over blasphemy allegations. (Photo: Twitter/@HafeezPPP.) 

Hindus in Sindh had been facing forced conversion and murder. Recently, during Ramzan, an 80-year-old Hindu man from the Ghotki district of Sindh was brutally assaulted by a policeman for having food before iftar (the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramzan fast at sunset).

Also read: Pakistan's blasphemy laws are akin to Islamist mob justice

In another incident, a Hindu man, Amar Lal, was arrested on July 26 for allegedly desecrating the holy Quran. With a mob threatening to burn him alive, the police shifted him to an undisclosed location. The police claim Amar is suffering from psychotic disorder.

Then two young Hindu boys, Avinash and Sateesh Kumar, were targeted by a mob also on the charge of desecrating the Quran. While Avinash is in a critical condition, Sateesh has reportedly died.

Sindh was in the news recently when Hindus in the region raised objections over the sale of shoes with "Om" inscribed on them. Hindus had staged massive protests in the region over reports of sale of such footwear.

Section 295 (B) of the Pakistan Penal Code deals with blasphemy under which over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy from 1987 to 2014. The vast majority of the accusations were lodged for desecration of the Quran.

It is the responsibility of the State to review its laws which are mostly used by mobs to target innocent people from the minority communities.

Laws are for the protection of human rights but what we see in Pakistan is that laws are used as cover for the violation of human rights.

Writer

Veengas Veengas @veengasj

She is a journalist based in Karachi. She has worked on political, human rights and minority issues and works at regional and English newspapers.

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