NEW DELHI: Key decision makers in the UN and USA who deal with human rights and religious freedom have been approached by an India-based think-tank on killing of innocent civilians in J&K by Pakistan and the pitiable situation of minorities in Pakistan.
Usanas Foundation, an Udaipur based geopolitical and security affairs thinktank, on July 16 sent a letter to the concerned authorities in UN and USA 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 its letter.
In a separate letter last week the Foundation expressed concern over 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, according to the Foundation. 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.
“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,” according to the Foundation.
The letter urged the authorities to take all the measures necessary to immediately stop the killing of religious minorities in Pakistan and pressurise Islamabad to form an independent National Commission for Minorities.