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Thursday July 18, 2024

NCHR urges PM to address growing radicalisation, attacks on minorities

By Myra Imran
June 13, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting in Peshawar on March 6, 2024. — PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting in Peshawar on March 6, 2024. — PID

Islamabad : The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has written an open letter to the Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif urging him to take decisive actions for addressing the growing radicalization and attacks on minorities.

The letter, issued on June 10, 2024, expresses deep concern over the alarming rise in attacks against minority communities in Pakistan. It says that recent incidents of attacks on minorities highlight a troubling trend that not only jeopardizes the safety and security of Pakistani citizens but also undermines the core values of tolerance and diversity that the nation stands for.

It mentions that NCHR has documented several distressing cases over the past few months. In March, Tahir Iqbal, an Ahmadi, was killed in Bahawalpur. In April, Prince Masih, a Christian, was killed in Rawalpindi. In May, Priya, a Hindu, was killed in Karachi, followed by Ashfaq Masih, a Christian, in Miranshah, and Nazir Masih, a Christian, in Sargodha. Most recently, in June, Ghulam Sarwar and Rahat Ahmad Bajwa, both Ahmadis, were killed in Mandi Bahauddin. “These incidents are indicative of a growing wave of intolerance and violence that disproportionately affects our minority communities. Extremist ideologies and the radicalization and brainwashing of our youth are critical issues that need to be addressed urgently,” says the letter.

The letter informs the Prime Minister that the Commission has been approached by representatives of the international community regarding Pakistan's compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). “This year, the Government of Pakistan is required to report on the measures adopted to uphold the rights described in these conventions and on the progress made. It is crucial for Pakistan to demonstrate transparency and take tangible actions towards these commitments,” states the letter.

The Commission recommended the government to strengthen protections for minorities by ensuring that law enforcement agencies are adequately trained and equipped to protect minority communities, especially during vulnerable times such as the upcoming religious holidays. The letter also called for a implementation of comprehensive strategy to combat the radicalization and brainwashing of youth, including education reforms that promote tolerance and inclusivity. It also suggests establishing clear mechanisms for reporting and addressing attacks on minorities, ensuring that perpetrators are

held accountable and victims receive justice.