Islamabad, 25 March (AKI) – There was an increase in violent attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan in 2009 and the government failed to take effective preventive action, according to the Human Rights Commission.The report singled out attacks against the Christian community in areas dominated by insurgents.
“As the militancy surged in the northwestern parts of the country, enforced migration and displacement of thousands of Christians from the Swat Valley, Peshawar, Mardan, Nowshera and FATA was reported following threats to them to convert to Islam or face death,” the report said.
It also said many were forced to take refuge with their relatives in Punjab and Sindh provinces, and faced immense hardships as the government could not provide adequate protection.
“At the same time many Christian families victims of the blasphemy law were forced to live in hiding in attempts to save their lives. There was little change in their social ostracisation,” the report maintained.
However the report said that worst sort of victimisation was done under the Blasphemy law.
Reports said in February last year clerics in Raiwind called on the government to register a case and punish those responsible for alleged desecration of Holy Koran in a private hospita in Lahore run by Fatima Memorial Hospital Lahore.
It was alleged that some Christian students had placed the Koran, the Islamic holy book, in shoe boxes. As the clerics protest mounted, the college administration closed down the institution for fear of unrest and violence….