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Canadian Premier Trudeau scraps Religious Freedom office dedicated to Shahbaz Bhatti

Karachi: April 6, 2016. (PCP)  Dr. Nazir s Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have expressed grave concern on decision by Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau to scrap Commission on Religious freedom which was formed by former Premier of Canada to recognize services of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti in Pakistan for religious minorities in 2013, according to a press note issued by Central Secretariat of PCC today.

Dr. Nazir Bhatti said “The persecuted communities around globe have no objection if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally welcomes Syrian Muslim refugees or wears Pakistani dress to join Muslim prayers or to secure his Muslim vote bank arranges Iftar Parties for them but he must not downplay with human right values which land of Canada upholds from decades that he will turn his back on Religious freedom which is fundamental part of Universal Declaration of Human Rights by member states of United Nation”

“The values of religious freedom are violated in Islamic countries around world it might be in knowledge of PM Trudeau then decision of scraping of Religious Freedom office by his administration under pressure of his Muslim voters is very surprising” said Nazir Bhatti

The Canada’s new Liberal government has decided that country no longer needs an office dedicated to religious freedom, allowing it to expire on March 31.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper advocated for an office dedicated to international religious freedom, finally opening it in February 2013. But newly elected Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quickly shut the door on the operation devaluing a focus specifically on religious freedom.

With a budget of $5 million and only a handful of employees, Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom was able to have a hand in various efforts in countries such as Nigeria and Pakistan. It focused on promoting religious tolerance through education and helping religious minorities under threat in hostile areas.

Harper originally dedicated the office to Shahbaz Bhatti, a Pakistani politician who stood up to Muslims on behalf of Christians and Hindus in his country. In 2011, militants assassinated Bhatti in Pakistan shortly after returning from a visit to Canada.

On March 21, Canadian Conservatives brought a motion in the House of Commons to renew Harper’s mandate for the Office of Religious Freedom. The Liberals easily quashed the motion, winning the vote 225 to 90.

Dr. Nazir Bhatti appealed Mr. Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada to review his decision on closure of office on Religious Freedom because it will it will harm interfaith harmony and violence will rise against religious minorities in Islamic states.


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