The condition of minorities is worsening and it is nearly impossible for those accused in blasphemy cases to have a trial in Pakistan, according to I.A. Rehman, secretary general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
Speaking at the launch of HRCP’s annual report “State of Human Rights in 2013’ recently, Mr. Rehman said: “We are worried about the big picture and we do not find any indication of a comprehensive approach to human rights.”
There is only symptomatic treatment and no holistic approach, he regretted. He said the number of those killed in sectarian clashes did not give an idea of the state of fear they were living in. The state should reorient itself to people’s welfare and meet basic demands, he urged.
In the first few weeks of 2013, sectarian violence claimed the lives of over 200 Hazara Shias in Balochistan.
The report documented more than 200 sectarian attacks which killed 687 people. Seven Ahmadis lost their lives in targeted attacks and in the deadliest attack ever against Pakistan’s Christians, over 100 people were killed in a Peshawar church.
A Muslim mob torched a predominantly Christian neighbourhood in Lahore after a Christian man was accused of blasphemy. Hundred houses were burnt as residents fled. Individuals charged with offences relating to religion included 17 Ahmadis, 13 Christians and nine Muslims.
In Badin, bodies of two Hindus were dug up by mobs which claimed that the graveyards belonged to Muslims and only Muslims could be buried there.