Islamabad: Human Rights Commission of
Pakistan chief Zohra Yousuf has said that members of the
minority Hindu and Hazara communities had been compelled to
seek sanctuary abroad as they were facing numerous problems
within the country.
Yousuf made the remarks while speaking at the launch of a
HRCP report on problems faced by religious minorities at the
Karachi Press Club last week.
She expressed concern at growing problems confronting the
The growing threats to minorities had been compounded by
the government’s failure to take measures to address them.
Targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, and incidents
of violence and intimidation linked to religion had shaken the
confidence of minorities in the state’s ability to effectively
protect them, she said.
Shia Hazaras from Balochistan and Hindus had felt
compelled to seek sanctuary abroad, she said.
At the same time, raising the issue of the rights of
non-Muslims too had become increasingly dangerous, she said.
Yousuf noted that the authorities had failed to make any
breakthrough in apprehending the killers of federal minister
Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian.
Bhatti was gunned down by terrorists near his home in
Islamabad last year after he criticised the controversial
The government has not taken any action on promises of
revising or repealing laws misused by radical elements to
persecute the minorities, Yousuf said.
Authorities remained passive spectators in the face of
hate speeches against religious minorities and this emboldened
those who instigated violence, she added.
The government’s commission for minorities was an eyewash
and there is no effective forum to protect minorities from
intimidation and discrimination, she said.
The government had also failed to take steps to prevent
forced conversions and to give minorities adequate
representation in parliament, Yousuf said.