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Troubled by the reports of food aid being denied to Hindu, Christian minorities of Pakistan, says USCIRF

The commissioner urged the Pakistan government to ensure that the food aid is shared equally among Hindus, Christians and other minorities.

The United States federal entity, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) revealed that it was troubled by the reports of Hindus and Christians being denied food aid in Pakistan during the grave times when Wuhan coronavirus has hit the nation.

USCIRF commissioner Anurima Bhargava said, “These actions are simply reprehensible. As COVID-19 continues to spread, vulnerable communities in Pakistan are fighting hunger and to keep their families safe and healthy. Food aid must not be denied because of religion or faith.”

The commissioner urged the Pakistan government to ensure that the food aid is shared equally among Hindus, Christians and other minorities. As per reports, the commission took this into account after the reports of Karachi based non-governmental organization Saylani Welfare International Trust which has been allegedly discriminating among the religious faiths while providing services, arguing that the aid is reserved for the Muslims only.

USCIRF Commissioner John Moorie said, “In a recent address by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the international community, he highlighted the challenge faced by the governments in the developing world is to save people from dying of hunger while also trying to halt the spread of COVID-19.”

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He suggested that Prime Minister khan’s government has the opportunity to lead the way but without leaving the minorities behind. Otherwise, they may add on top of it all one more crisis, created by religious discrimination and inter-communal strife. John Moorie added, “It is a monumental task to laying before many countries.”

Religious minorities in Pakistan constitute 3 percent of the total population of the country. They include Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Sindhis. Pakistan is notoriously known for its persecution of not only religious minorities but also ethnic minorities within their own country. The forceful conversion programs have often been unleashed against the minorities especially Christians, Sikhs and Hindus living in Pakistan with utmost brutality.

In December 2019, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) had slammed Pakistan’s government stating that their discriminatory legislation has empowered people with “extremist mindsets” to carry out attacks on religious minorities. The CSW, a commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, said that Christian and Hindu communities, especially women and girls in Pakistan are “particularly vulnerable”.

Apart from that Pakistan has also been irresponsible towards it people taking the coronavirus outbreak into the account, as the Chinese pandemic COVID-19 has spread across the country, several mosques have remained opened across Pakistan, especially for Friday namaaz. The Islamic country has reported 5,537 cases and 96 casualties.

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