United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in its report has asserted that religious freedom continues to deteriorate in Pakistan under Imran Khan’s government. The report mentions that the discriminatory legislation brought by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has empowered people having ‘extremist mindsets.’ The report has expressed concerns regarding the increased "weaponisation and politicisation" of the blasphemy laws and the anti-Ahmadiyya legislation.
The 47-page report titled 'Pakistan Religious freedom under attack’ has expressed that the Islamist groups use contentious legislation not only to persecute minorities but to gain political ground as well.
The commission substantiated the report by using examples from Hindu and Christian communities. Both the communities have been referred to as ‘particularly communities’ by the commission. The commission adds that hundreds of women and girls from both the communities are abducted each year and are forcefully converted to Islam.
The situation gets exacerbated due to lack of police action and continuous intimidations on the part of abductors and a weak judicial system, reports news agency ANI. Moreover, Pakistan has also been found an unsafe place as those who try to defend human rights also face threats from multiple sources.
“The prolonged misuse of the blasphemy laws over the last three decades, combined with the rise of extremism, has had a damaging normative impact on social harmony. The sensitive nature of blasphemy cases serves to heighten religious fervour and has created an environment of mob violence in which people take matters into their own hands, often with fatal consequences,” the report reads.
The CSW has asked the Pakistan government to take more effective steps to prevent sectarian violence and to hold the perpetrators of religious attacks to account.
(With ANI inputs)