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Asia

2012-03-16

ASIA/PAKISTAN - Minorities, blasphemy, rights: the work of Shahbaz Bhatti officially arrives in Europe

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - The "All Pakistan Minorities Alliance" (APMA), Association of Pakistani civil society, founded in 2002 by Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic Minister for Minorities, murdered a year ago in Islamabad, puts foot in Europe, officially opening offices in several European countries. The APMA is among the largest organizations of civil society in Pakistan, founded to protect and defend religious minorities (who in the country are mostly Christians and Hindus). It includes offices and representatives in all provinces of Pakistan and has launched campaigns against discrimination and for the full citizenship of religious minorities in Paksitan.
As reported to Fides, Paul Bhatti, brother of the murdered Minister and current President of APMA, "many Pakistanis in Europe are working for the same ideals and the defense of religious minorities in Pakistan and other parts of the world, in the spirit of Shahbaz. The APMA now intends to recognize this work and strengthen the network of those who, in international offices, will continue the work of justice, peace, freedom, harmony promoted by Shabhaz ".
The APMA in the past reported the abuse of the blasphemy law as "an instrument of oppression of minorities." Its members are engaged in the cultural awareness but also of material assistance at a legal and social level, for the citizens of Pakistani minorities, victims of injustice because of their religion. The APMA is inspired by values such as human dignity, democracy, the rule of law, economic justice and social dialogue, rights for the marginalized. The APMA has an Italian office, entrusted to the coordination of prof. Mobeen Shahid, as well as representatives in France, Spain, Portugal and soon in other European countries. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/3/2012)

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