Asserting that religious freedom in Pakistan continues to 'deteriorate' under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has said that discriminatory legislation by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has empowered people with 'extremist mindsets' to carry out attacks on religious minorities.
In its 47 - page report titles 'Pakistan-Religious freedom under attack', the commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council expressed concerns over the increasing 'weaponization and politicization' of blasphemy laws and the anti-Ahmadiyya legislation which are being used by Islamist groups to persecute religious minorities and gain political ground.
The commission said Christian and Hindu communities are "particularly vulnerable", especially women and girls.
"Each year hundreds are abducted and forced to convert and marry Muslim men. Victims have little or no hope of being returned to their families due to the serious threats and intimidation from abductors against the girls and their families. This is compounded by the lack of police will to take action, weaknesses in the judicial process, and discrimination from both police and judiciary towards religious minority victims,” the report said.
The commission said that blasphemy laws in Pakistan, which criminalize anyone who insults Islam, are often misused to lodge false cases against the religious minorities. It said cases of forced marriages and forced conversions are prevalent among Christian and Hindu girls and women, particularly in the Punjab and Sindh Provinces.
Nagaland has been under AFSPA for almost six decades now and it eas not withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isal Muivah) General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivag and government interlocutor RN Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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