An India-based think-tank has approached the key decision makers in the United Nations and USA who handle issues in human rights and religious freedom to highlight the killing of innocent civilians in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by Pakistan and the pitiable situation of minorities in Pakistan.
In a letter to the concerned authorities in the UN and USA, Usanas Foundation, an Udaipur based geopolitical and security affairs think tank, has expressed concerns about the killing of innocent civilians in Kashmir by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.
“Pakistan sponsored terrorist attacks in Kashmir have sharply increased after the abrogation of Article 370. The abrogation of article 370 was a major blow to Pak-sponsored terrorism, paving the way for better administration, good governance, and economic development of the region. The Pakistani supported terrorist organizations saw this as a threat. They feared that better administration, good governance, and economic development would gradually reduce their public support and slip out of its control. They started killing civilians, local and state-level political leaders to hamper the growth of a healthy democratic process, impose jihadist ideology, and strike terror among the common people,” the think-tank wrote.
In a separate letter, the think tank highlighted the gradual increase of the hatred and abuse towards religious minorities in Pakistan.
“Pakistan is moving towards deliberate and systemic destruction of the Ahmadiyya community and Pakistan uses state mechanisms to prevent Ahmadiyyas to practice their religion. Ordinance XX1 of 1991 in effect prohibited Ahmadiyyas from declaring or propagating their faith publicly, building mosques or making the call for Muslim prayer. To prevent Ahmadiyyas from practicing their religion, the state uses vigilant public policing on the Ahmadi community,” said the Foundation.
“Pakistan does not provide religious freedom to religious minorities…The Pakistan state fears backlash from conservative Muslim groups. In 2015 Sindh Assembly passed the Sindh Criminal (Protection of Minorities) Bill, 2015, which made forced conversions punishable by law. Due to the backlash it has received from conservative Muslim groups, the legislation did not see a day light,” it added.
The Usanas Foundation suggested that “Pakistan needs an independent and inclusive national human rights institution, and not an exclusionary government- controlled one”.
The letter urged the authorities to take all the measures necessary to immediately stop the killing of religious minorities in Pakistan and pressurize Islamabad to form an independent National Commission for Minorities.