On November 13, 2013 Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives regarding the persecution of a religious minority in Pakistan.
"Mr. Speaker, the relationship between the United States and Pakistan has been a long and mutually beneficial relationship, in general. But I rise today, based on the representations of many of my constituents, to raise concerns about the status of religious minorities.
"I support a strong U.S.-Pakistan relationship, and I have experienced kindness and generosity from the Pakistani people myself and their beautiful diversity. In addition to Pakistan's Sunni Muslim majority, there are Shia Muslims, Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and others. Pakistan is a country with rich religious diversity", he said.
"However, the situation for many religious minorities is of grave concern, and this is particularly true for Shia Muslims, although all have expressed concern. Shias face daily discrimination at work, school, and in the political process. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, more than 500 people were killed last year in sectarian attacks against Muslim sects, mainly Shias. This year, nearly three Shias have been killed every single day; three people have been killed simply because of how they practice their faith", Ellison said.
"Mr. Speaker, this is a crisis, and something must be done. I urge the people of Pakistan and their leadership to do something about it now", said Rep. Ellison (source: Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov ).
See related video: Shia Minority killings and murder in Pakistan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAIu4wzUC9A