Pakistan minorities `under attack`: Human Rights
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has called 2010 bad year for minorities.
Islamabad: Stating that about 25 percent of Sikhs in Orakzai Agency were forced to leave their homes and 27 Hindu families sought asylum in India due to security threats, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called 2010 a particularly bad year for minorities.
The report released on Thursday said that about 25 percent of the 102 Sikh families in Orakzai Agency had to leave after Taliban asked them to pay Jaziya or leave the area. The Sikhs could return only after a major military operation.
It also said that at least 27 Hindu families had sought asylum in India due to security threats.
HRCP has said the government did not extend sympathies to the victims of faith-related killings, Dawn reported on Friday.
The report "State of Human Rights in 2010" said there were few positive developments in Pakistan with regard to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
It stated that there had been a string of faith-based attacks in which not only were minorities targeted but 418 Muslims belonging to various sects were also killed.
"All indications suggest that there are even worse times ahead.”
"Extremist views grew more vociferous as voices for basic human rights and tolerance became more isolated in face of violence and intimidation," the report said.
Criticising the police, the report stated that it was not doing enough to protect the minorities from attacks and had also been accused of harassing or being complicit in framing false charges.
HRCP chairman Mehdi Hassan was quoted as saying that most of the human rights violations were by government functionaries.
"Under such conditions, who will ensure that the laws are being implemented?"
The report said that as many as 64 people were charged under the blasphemy law last year and many of them were imprisoned.
A Muslim and two Christian men accused of blasphemy were killed in police custody, the media report said.
Mentioning the law and order situation, it said about 12,580 people were murdered and 581 kidnapped for ransom. At least 16,977 abduction cases were reported.
As many as 1,159 people, included 1,041 civilians, were killed in 67 suicide attacks.