Minorities 'not safe in Pakistan'

Published 05 August 2013  |  ASSIST News Service
Pakistani women take part in a protest against their treatment organised by LEAD, a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation

Pakistan's minorities are feeling the effects of Islamic militant organisations which target them for violence, and an Islamic culture that they say makes them feel insecure.

Pakistani women take part in a protest against their treatment organised by LEAD, a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation

Nazia Masih, 28, a Christian nurse from Padri-Jo-Goth, Sanghar District, who works at Cheniot Hospital, Karachi, says she has experienced this firsthand. She was targeted by a man who allegedly tried to abduct her.

On Saturday, August 3, 2013, Nazia talked to the media at the Hyderabad Press Club where she said that death threats are making her and other family members terrified.

She continued, "My family members are in great danger and they are continually being threatened by [the man who tried to abduct me] and his friends ... I want ... security for my life and my family. We [are being threatened]. We are Christians and poor. That's why such incidents happened with us. We are not safe in Pakistan, nor our honor or belongings."

Human rights group, the Masihi Foundation, said in a statement that it was "shameful" that a nurse and her family were having to suffer like this.

The statement continued, "Such incidents should strongly be condemned. Countless Hindu girls are abducted every month from the interior Sindh. The authorities are silent about it, they need to do something to protect them and their honor. We demand the authorities ensure that Nazia Masih and her family are provided protection."

Her lawyer Dilawar G Bhatti was reportedly attacked by two unknown individuals on a motorbike while he was going home.

"This is shameful," said Fr John James, from the diocese of Karachi who was reported in Asia News. "Such incidents should be strongly condemned by society. Countless Hindu girls are abducted every month from the interior of Sindh, and the authorities are silent about it.

"They need to do something to protect them. We call on the authorities to provide protection to Nazia Masih and her family."

A report was filed with local police.

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