PAKISTAN: Stop violence in the name of religion 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward an appeal from Citizens for Democracy (CFD). Citizens for Democracy (CFD) is an umbrella group of professional organizations, political parties, trade unions and individuals outraged by the consistent misuse and abuse of the ‘blasphemy laws’ and of religion in politics.

For more information, please contact:

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

PAKISTAN: Stop violence in the name of religion

The Father of the nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah told the nation in his speech to the Constituent Assembly on Aug 11, 1947, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed –that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” Sadly, this nation is today witnessing calls to demolish places of worships, killings and abduction in the name of religion, abductions and forced conversions (particularly of the Hindu community in Sindh) and a flood of hate mongering activities.

We urge you to intervene and stop the killing of Pakistan’s religious communities, specifically target killings those belonging to the Sunni (Barelvi), Shia (including Hazara) and Ahmadi communities who are facing a virtual genocide simply for following their religious beliefs and practices.

The attacks on the 12 Rabiul Awal processions cities around Pakistan are evidence of the menace of bigotry and intolerance, as are the target killings of Shias in Kohistan, Parachinar and Mastaung and violence against Ahmadis. The government must act with all its might to put a stop to this. This needs to be done NOW.

The activities of the so-called Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a coalition comprising several ‘religious parties’ including some banned organizations whose views don’t resonate with the majority but are able to use their armed status and street power to attack others with impunity, need to be curtailed before it becomes the Destroy Pakistan

1. We strongly condemn these threats of violence and urge the establishment of a code of ethics across the board that prohibits any religious or political party supporting those who victimize others.
2. The Government must ensure that the banned terrorist organizationsare not able to operate and harm or threaten peaceful citizens.
3. The Government, both at the Federal and Provincial levels, must take immediate action against violence, threats and intimidation, especially those in the name of religion.
4. There is urgent need to institute a witness protection plan; the police must be empowered, enabled and de-politicized in order to act against those who violate basic human rights and engage in criminal acts in Pakistan.
5. The government must employ the full force of the law to ensure that no one attacks or threatens members of any community simply for following their religious beliefs and practices.

We hope that the government and all political parties will wake up to the growing evil of intolerance and bigotry that is fast turning into a monster and act up before it eats up the very foundations of our society.



1. Mr. Yousuf Raza Gillani,
Prime Minister
Prime Minister House
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel: +92 51 920 6111

2. Chaudhry Nisar Ahmed Khan
Leader of the Opposition,
National Assembly of Pakistan
PML-N Secretariat,
20-H, Street# 10,
Tel: +92 51 9221118, 9
Fax: +92 51 9221128

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

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Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : AHRC-FUA-004-2012
Countries : Pakistan,
Issues : Freedom of religion, Rule of law,