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Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) – In Pakistan, space and freedom for ethnic and religious minorities and marginalized communities is more and more restricted, and those who defend human rights are being targeted: is what the participants at the conference entitled “Religious minorities and freedom of expression in Pakistan” said, held in past days by the Jinnah Institute, a prestigious research center based in Karachi, named after the founder of the country Ali Jinnah. The conference brought together activists and minority representatives, civil society activists to discuss the issue of religious minorities in Pakistan.
First of all those present noticed a deficiency in the system of communication and information: journalists themselves, in fact, are threatened and cannot freely write about such problems.
During the conference politicians, activists, academics, teachers, police officers, businessmen and others who were shot and killed were recalled. Among them, the cases of Saleem Shahzad, Salmaan Taseer, Rashid Rehman, Sabeen Mahmud and many others were mentioned.
This happens because society has become excessively radicalized: “The glorification of a single system of beliefs, the Islamic belief, has damaged our society. No one today admits that our laws are discriminatory. Dissent and modernization have been consistently demonized”, said those present.
During the conference the politician Ramesh Kumar Vankwani admitted that the political leadership has not shown much interest in resolving the problems of minorities, and recalled that the Constitution guarantees fundamental rights. The Roman Catholic Bashir noted that after the attack on the churches in Youhanabad in Lahore, means of communication gave more space to the following incident, the lynching of two Muslims, rather than kamikaze attacks. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 30/05/2015)