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USCIRF Commissioner asks Pakistan to repeal blasphemy law; PCC Conference in Washington

Washington DC: August 2, 2010. (PCP/Agencies) Pakistan Christian Congress PCC Conference was first ever successful gathering in a campaign to repeal blasphemy law in Pakistan when a Commissioner of United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and more than one dozen leaders of International Human Right Organizations were here to speak on rights of Pakistani Christians.

Pakistan should repeal its 'Blasphemy law' as its provisions were being misused against the minorities in the country, Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom has said.

"It is a precarious status (of minorities in Pakistan), because even though they (the minorities) have certain rights in law, they are constantly vulnerable to accusations that are likely to be false under the blasphemy laws," said Nina Shea, Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Asking Pakistan government to repeal the law, Shea said "these kinds of laws are not only repressive, but they also create social turmoil."

She asked the US, which is one of the largest donors for the country, to impress upon Islamabad to repeal the law.

"I expect the US to bilateral and multilateral engagements with Pakistan to press for the repeal of the blasphemy law," Shea said in a joint press conference held by several organization representing Pakistani minorities in the US.

Pakistan Christian Congress Chief Dr. Nazir S Bhatti announced to observe “Black Day” instead of “Minority Day” announced by government of Pakistan on August 11, 2010, in Pakistan:

“How we can celebrate Minority Day in Pakistan when our innocent brothers are being killed by Islamic militants and our women are being gang raped and enforcedly converted to Islam” said Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, when speaking in Conference organized by Pakistan Christian Congress PCC here today at Reeves Center, Washington DC.

PCC Conference discussed Killing of Christians in Pakistan on pretext to blasphemy law, situation of religious minorities and anniversary of Gojra which was attended by international organizations and leaders

Ahmar Mustikhan, founder of American Friends of Baluchistan, alleged that the minorities - Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Kadiyans have absolutely no rights within Pakistan.

"I have not seen any case so far where the perpetrators of crime against Christians, Hindus and Kadiayanis are brought to justice," he alleged.

Mr. Jeffery Imm of REAL urged participants to file an online petition campaign urging the Government of Pakistan to respect the diversity of religious views and protect such freedoms that are the inherent universal human rights of all people.

Mr. Andrew Eiva, Director, Freedom for Sudan Committee, Jeffrey Imm, founder, Responsible for Equality And Liberty [R.E.A.L.], Ashraf Ramelah, Voice of the Copts, Manzoor Alam, Chairman, Pakistani American Christian Coalition, Mujeeb Ijaz, Ahamdayya Muslims in USA, Shaharyar Gill, International Center of Justice and Law, Ahmar Mustikhan, founder, American Friends of Balochistan, Senge H. Sering, director, Gilgit Baltistan National Congress and representative of ICC also spoke on this occasion

Nazir S Bhatti paid homage to martyrs of Gojra and demanded repeal of blasphemy law. He also announced to hold rallies in every city of Pakistan on August 11, 2010, to mark it as “Black Day” instead of Minority Day announced by the government of Pakistan.


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