Pakistan: Christian MP rejects religious minister’s comments

Tahir Khalil Sindhu Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA), from Punjab and Chairman Standing Committee Human Rights & Minorities Affairs Punjab rejected the comments made by Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony during his meeting with European Union Ambassador to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara.

He took issue with the comments that negative propaganda was being spread against Pakistan on the issue of forced conversion.

Sindhu said: “It is not negative propaganda against anybody, but this is the reality, and the sooner the government realises this, the better. A well-known case is that of Sikh girl, Jagjit Kor, where sadly Ch. Sarwar governor of Punjab and some other leaders played a very negative role.

“And the very recent case of Christian girl Maira Shahbaz who escaped from her kidnapper, are just a few examples. There are dozens of cases under trial in the country’s courts but it is becoming hard to get justice for these girls. 

“The Government knew about Mian Mithu’s role in forced conversion of minor Hindu girls in Sindh, but failed to take any action against him or people like him involved in forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls.”

Complaining about the media he said cases of forced conversion of minor girls continue to increase every day, but unfortunately, the mainstream media avoid printing such cases.

He added: “But that doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t exist, the problem does exist and is worsening every day. The international media is printing such stories every day. The international community is very well aware of the problem and this issue has been raised with Pakistani authorities on several occasions. 

“Giving such statements, or pushing the matter under the carpet is not a solution. This is a serious issue and the government must pay attention to stop it. It should introduce hard punishment or make a new legislation.”

Sindhu further said that Christians and other religious minorities are treated as 2nd class citizens, but we supported Quaid-I-Azam in his struggle for Pakistan and those who were against Quaid i Azam and the idea of the Pakistan have become the guardians of the country. 

He continued: “Some people consider us Dhimmi, which is not correct. We played a role in the making of Pakistan, in the development of Pakistan and in the defence of Pakistan whether it was in the 1965 or 1971 wars with India.”

He said this is the time to recognise Christians and other minorities as equal citizens of the country and treat them equally. We need to rise above all the differences and unite to face the challenges posed to us by the world and especially by India.