Minority groups in Faisalabad, Pakistan joined hands in a rally and press conference organised by GHRD and our local partners to commemorate the one year anniversary of the death of Shabbaz Bhatti, the former minister of minority Affairs in Pakistan. No less than one week later, GHRD joined minority organisations, religious leaders, academics, politicians, and human rights activists who came together in London to present a petition and to rally against the blasphemy laws and other discrimination going on in Pakistan.
One year ago on March 2nd, 2011, Shabbaz Bhatti, the former Minister of Minority Affairs for Pakistan was killed in cold blood by extremists for daring to speak out against the injustices committed against minorities and the discriminatory blasphemy laws in Pakistan.
This year, on the first anniversary of that killing, GHRD supported rallies, press conferences and petitions both inFaisalabad, Pakistan and in London, UK to highlight the culture of discrimination against religious minorities (Hindu, Christian, Ahmadiyya Muslim, Sikh and other) in Pakistan.
Faisalabad – press conference and rally
Over 150 minority individuals joined together in Faisalabad in a rally to protest discrimination against minorities and call for government commitment to change.
GHRD’s local partner Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), began the day with a press conference led by various minority leaders, lawyers and activists, urging the government of Pakistan to actively protect minorities not only in theory but also in practice, by bringing the murderers of Shabbaz Bhatti to justice, honouring the government’s stated commitment to legal reform of discriminatory laws such as the blasphemy laws, law enforcement and protection for minority leaders, judges in controversial rights cases and human rights defenders and active promotion of interfaith harmony throughout the country.
Minorities then took to the streets in a rally and demonstration in Faisalabad City Centre in front of Press Club, with over 150 participants uniting to collectively condemn the assassinations of minority defenders and individuals, extremist attacks and human rights violations against minority groups.
News coverage in english:
London protest and peace concert
GHRD was among other human rights activists, academics, religious leaders and individuals who came together in London on Saturday 10 March to protest again minority discrimination in Pakistan.
The day began with static protests and the presentation of a petition on the discrimination of religious minorities in Pakistan to the High Commission of Pakistan and 10 Downing Street. Protesters then marched to Trafalgar square for a peace concert where hundreds of people learned about the situation for Pakistani minorities.