Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his effort to please the United States, has gone and created quite some many blunders for his country. Addressing a Minority Day celebration at President House in Islamabad, Imran Khan admitted the atrocities over minorities exist in the country, by stating, ‘they’ve been left behind’.
(3/3) اقلیتوں کے لیے ایوان صدر میں منعقدہ تقریب میں وزیر اعظم عمران خان کا خطاب (29.07.19) pic.twitter.com/teDJxA2rRo
— PTI (@PTIofficial) July 29, 2019
He stated, “How do you include humanity? When you protect everyone’s rights. Why will people in Balochistan, Sindh or areas like Rajanpur fight for Pakistan if no one in the state even asks about them, if they have no stake in the state. They’ve been left behind.”
This sudden surge of empathy and need to uphold the rights of religious minorities and protect their place of worship, comes in light of the US visit.
Ahead of the visit, 10 senior US Congressmen had written to Donald Trump to raise the issue of forced conversions, disappearances and human rights violations in the Sindh region of Pakistan. They wrote, “We are writing to urge you to raise the issue of human rights abuses in Sindh Province with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan when you meet with him on July 22.” The application also read that “there were around one- thousand cases of forced conversions in Sindh Province in 2018 alone.” Moreover, it stated that “This is the case with forced conversions, where young Hindu and Christian girls are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam.”
More embarrassment for Pak puppet PM @ImranKhanPTI. 10 members of US Congress write to @realDonaldTrump exposing forced conversion of Hindu and Christian girls in Pakistan and Pak army atrocities in #Balochistan. (a country with a begging bowl ill treats people within Pakistan) pic.twitter.com/Ip1xdxBfi3
— GAURAV C SAWANT (@gauravcsawant) July 22, 2019
On the topic of conversion, a Pakistani national, Shaan Taseer had requested Donald Trump, “I would be very grateful if you would raise with him the issue of persecuted Christians in Pakistan – the blasphemy law and people who are suffering under this law.” To which, Donald Trump responded positively by stating, “I’ll do that”.
So it seems due to the US pressure and the need for economic resources, Imran Khan has to maintain a façade of minority protection in the otherwise sad state of affairs.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, in its annual report in April, raised concerns about incidents of forced conversions and marriages of Hindu and Christian girls, saying around 1,000 such cases were reported in the southern Sindh province alone last year.
In Pakistan, Hindu persecution has become an almost accepted norm. News cycle is filled with stories of abduction, murder, rape of Hindus in the country. Recently in March, two Hindu teenage sisters, Raveena and Reena were kidnapped by a group of men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi. Soon after the kidnapping, a video went viral in which a cleric was purportedly shown solemnising the marriage of the two girls, triggering a nationwide outrage.
A few months ago, Anusha Meghwar, a 16-year-old girl from Tharparkar, Pakistan was abducted, forcibly converted to Islam before she was forcibly married. The incident happened in the Sindh province of Pakistan where child marriage is a punishable offence. A similar incident happened last year in the Sindh province where a young Hindu girl, Ravita Meghwar was forcibly converted and married to a Muslim man.
Even the minority Christians are not spared. Not very long ago, the world witnessed the anti-minority hatred that runs through the veins of the mainstream Muslim majority Pakistan population. Recent attacks on the Christian community include an attack on a church in Quetta in December 2017 that killed nine people and injured 57. A suicide attack targeting Christians celebrating Easter at a Lahore playground in March 2016 left 70 dead and more than 340 wounded.
Such is the sad state of affairs in the state, and Imran Khan had the gumption to “show” the Modi government “how to treat minorities”. Over all these years, he never realised that the minorities in his country were living in such a deplorable state, under constant threat from the majority Muslims and were even denied the basic rights. The fact that he is suddenly enlightened as to the state of minorities, a few days after the US visit doesn’t seem to be a co-incidence. Moreover, for a person claiming to “show” other democracies how minorities are to be treated, this statement is quite an admission on Imran Khan’s part. More so than that, this pompous display of “care” towards the minority reeks of blatant sycophancy.