ASIA/PAKISTAN - The World Council of Churches to the Premier: "We urgently need to protect religious minorities"

Friday, 4 October 2013

Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - The World Council of Churches (WCC ) calls on the Pakistani government to "protect Pakistani Christians and all religious minorities from terrorism": is what is stated in a letter sent by the Secretary General of the Council, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, following the attacks that occurred last week in the Church of All Saints in Peshawar. In the letter, sent to Fides Agency, the WCC "condemns the acts of terrorism", expressing solidarity with the families of the victims, promising to bring "all in our thoughts and our prayers". Tveit shares the serious concern regarding the insecurity of religious minorities in Pakistan, especially in the face of the growing threat of religious extremism. The Secretary therefore urges the Pakistani government to take necessary measures to ensure safety to the most vulnerable communities, especially those religious communities that face constant threats to their lives.
Terrorism is a scourge that affects the whole nation, as shown by the latest figures released by the "Center for Research and Security Studies", think-tank pakistan based in Islamabad. In a report sent to Fides, the Centre informs that from January to August 31, 2013, 4,286 people (4,066 injuries) were killed in Pakistan in a number of targeted killings, attacks by militants, terrorist attacks, such as bombs on behalf of Taliban suicide bombers. "Because of loopholes in the rule of law and given the impotence of the courts, Pakistan has become an extermination camp where the militants, the Taliban and Islamic fundamentalists operate with impunity", comments a statement sent to Fides by the "Asian Human Rights Commission" (AHRC ), an NGO based in Hong Kong. "For civilians there is no dignity - continues the statement - respect for life and the sense of justice have disappeared. The right to life has lost all its meaning". According to the AHRC, "it is urgent to intervene in the criminal justice system but the political will of the government is needed to control the militancy in the country". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 04/10/2013)