ISLAMABAD – Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Khan Afridi has said that the way Pakistan has set a model of equal treatment to its minorities and the world needs to learn from it.
Addressing the participants of a seminar held here at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) with regard to the World Minorities Day, Shehryar Afridi said that the sole objective to observe this day is to make the whole world realise the significance of the rights of minorities.
Afridi said that the Indian government has unleashed a reign of terror against Indian minorities and Muslims are specifically are being lynched under a vicious plan of genocide.
Afridi said that in February this year, 36 Muslims were butchered some even burned to death by the hindu mobsters in India’s capital Delhi while scores of mosques were also razed to ground.
“The hindu mobsters were publicly praised by the ruling party parliamentarians with the backing of Hindu Terror Group RSS,” he added.
He said that the Indian atrocities being meted out to the minorities in general and Kashmiris in particular must be given an end.
He said that the world community carries a responsibility to provide right of self determination to the people of Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK).
“It’s about time that the developed world must intervene before its too late. India under a genocide plan is killing its minorities and Muslims are a special target of Indian subjugation”.
Afridi said that minorities are a target of Indian regime which claims to be secular but practices Hindutva agenda.
“If Muslims are target today, it were Sikh massacre in 1984. Its not only about Muslims. Dalits and Christians are also being exterminated systematically. Indian bureaucrats and politicians publicly kill Muslims but they also promote Muslim lynching on social and electronic media. Minorities are being killed under a plan, ” argued Afridi.
He said World War-I and World War-II erupted due to failure of nations to provide justice to the oppressed.
Chairman of Kashmir Committee warned that if the United Nations and prosperous world fail to stop systematic bloodshed and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiris in India, Kashmir may become a nuclear flash point which may have impact beyond the region.
President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan said that Kashmiri society was very compassionate and there was full religious freedom for minorities in Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
He said that the RSS regime was propagating and practicing fascism. He said that unlike Pakistan which was created in the name of Islam, India was created in the name of secularism. However, he said, the BJP government had unleashed a reign of terror towards Indian Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Dalits.
He said Kashmiris have been killed, maimed, incarcerated under a plan to turn the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir into a minority.
“The world community needs to take notice of the systematic cleansing of Kashmiris: there would be no Kashmiri to defend in next two or three years”.
He said if the world fails to intervene the massacre, the world would be equally responsible along with the RSS for the Kashmiris genocide.
He said that a large number of Hindus are being brought to Kashmir to change the demography of Kashmir.
He said that Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and other minorities are an integral part of Kashmiri polity.
Todd Shea, the head of CDRS and US citizen working to help earthquake victims in Azad Kashmir said that the hypocrisy of the US and its media reflected a very wrong picture of Pakistan.
“When I came to Pakistan to help the earthquake victims, I was shown a negative picture of Pakistan. But Pakistanis gave my colleagues and nuns more dignity and respect than other Pakistanis. This reflects how well minorities are treated here,” he said.
Todd Shea said that it was deplorable that just across the border, we see how minorities are treated in India and other countries of the region.
“Pakistan is far ahead of the countries of the region in term of treatment of minorities. Pakistan is a great nation and it needs to be treated better by the world,” he added.
Raja Parvez Ashraf, former prime minister, said that Pakistan is a bouquet having all sorts of religious colours, flowers and fragrances.
“Quaid-e-Azam’s vision provided equal rights under the country’s constitution and the minority lawmakers have more rights than a Pakistani Muslim as they vote twice to elect our leaders”.
He denounced the maltreatment of Indian minorities and urged the developed world to intervene and pressurise the Indian government to ensure equal rights to the minorities.
“It is about time that the world treat the minorities equally in the 21st century.
Minorities are better Pakistanis and they support the fundamental right of self-determination of the people of Jammu & Kashmir”.
“If there is everything right in IIOJK, why India has placed 900,000 troops there. One day Kashmiris would get free from the Indian occupation,” he maintained.
Bishop Dr Azad Marshal, President National Council of Churches of Pakistan, said that Quaid-e-Azam wanted minorities to be treated equally in Pakistan.
” Christians in Punjab Assembly in 1940s voted for Pakistan. We value guaranteed religious freedom and the equal treatment by the government.
We are included in flag of Pakistan and my brethren have died for Pakistan and we fought for Pakistan. We can set a new model of harmony, coexistence and prosperity of minorities in Pakistan, ” he added.
Azad Marshal said that there have been 15000 reported incidents of looting, vandalising and burning Christian churches.
“We also condemn the atrocities against Kashmiris and we pray that Kashmiris are freed from the occupation of India soon,” he asserted.
Ramesh Kumar Vankwani MNA said that he had visited a Peach Temple in Azad Kashmir which reflects that how Pakistan has been preserving the rich cultural and religious heritage of minorities.
He said that he was a proud Pakistani and he had been working hard for freedom of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
He said that he used to call minorities as non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan. He said that he had conducted research on the State of Madinah and it proved that the life of Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was a symbol of love for humanity.
He said that the Indian maltreatment towards its minorities had put a question mark on Indian claim of being a secular country.
Ranjeet Singh MPA said that there is no doubt that minorities are enjoying equal rights in Pakistan.
“We observed Black Day on August 5 recently and the way we see treatment meted out to Kashmiris and the Indian atrocities being committed by Indian army, we feel proud Pakistanis. I am a proud Pakistani and I condemn the Indian atrocities against Kashmiri Muslims and also Sikh community in India. Pakistan perhaps is the only country where minorities day is observed with ferever,” he added.
Peerzada Adnan Qadri, Head of Jamia Junaidia, said that Islam always taught respect for other faiths and religions.