Data is considered backbone for campaigns and it helps any cause reach it’s maximum potential. Data particularly on human rights’ violations in Pakistan is often misreported and lacks evidence which hinders the advocacy and campaigning efforts for the protection and better rights for minorities. Violence Register PK recently launched a website that reports incidents of faith-based violence against four communities along with their corresponding evidence a much needed innovation for the human rights campaigners in Pakistan. This fact finding mission is an effort by academic researchers, social and human rights defenders and minority rights activists who felt the need to address the lack of evidence-backed data on violence against minorities in Pakistan. With data that is readily available and easy-to-understand can help with informed-policy decisions and rigorous campaigning for human rights defenders. Violence Register PK also has a resource section on the website with published reports, and infographics that are available to anyone interested.Shia Community
Evidence collected by Violence Register PK shows that 66% of all faith-based violence in Pakistan is against the Shia community. This community is a target of slow-motion genocide and is persecuted in Pakistan by religious propaganda. Despite constitutional commitments and peace talks, this community and other minority groups are facing violence. Statistics gathered between 2000-2020, Country Policy and Information Note by the UK home office, depicts that 365 attacks have occurred against them. On the other hand, Violence Register PK has recorded 273% more attacks during the same period. Here the question arises that what is the use of constitutional rights and protections when there is no implementation at a national level? The government, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and peace-making bodies should take action against such acts. There is a dire need for policy implementation and protection of the rights of minorities in Pakistan.Hindus Community
The research and evidence show that the Hindu community has also been marginalized and discriminated against for decades. The challenges encountered by Hindus in Pakistan are also a matter of concern. According to the data available on the website, More than 70% cases of Forced conversions were registered against Hindu Community and 88% of these cases were reported in the Sindh province which is alarming.
Just recently, a Muslim mob attacked and destroyed a Hindu temple at Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab. The fear prevailed all around, which led many Hindu families to vacate the locality to save their lives from attackers.
Pakistan was founded on the principles that it will protect all its citizens equally. The constitution of Pakistan is obliged to protect the rights of various religious minorities living here since partition. According to the Census of 2017, these minorities constitute approximately 3.53% of the total population. The constitution also provides the right to free speech and assembly, allowing minority voices to be heard. But, when it comes to practical approaches, no such implementation is seen. They are living in a vulnerable condition and are subject to faith-based violence, religious discrimination, blasphemy, hate speech, intimidation, and discrimination.Christian Community
Christians in Pakistan constitute a significant portion of minorities, but they are treated as second-class citizens. They are deprived of jobs, education and neglected in every sector. Christian girls are at a threat of abduction and forceful conversion to Islam. Discrimination against the Christian community is prominent everywhere, either in offices, schools, or other public spaces. They are frequently targeted in cases of blasphemy, discrimination against women, and hate speech. When the government advertises jobs for sanitary workers, it often mentions that low-ranked jobs, mainly janitorial positions, are allocated explicitly for non-Muslims and Christians. Moreover, the so-called five percent quota to get jobs in the government sector and even in the education sector has never been adequately implemented.
Approximately 304 incidents, attacks on worship places, target killings, kidnapping, rape, mob- violence have been mapped by the Violence Register PK from 2015 – 2021. Law enforcement agencies should take measures to counter violence and radicalization against the Christian community.Ahmadiyya Community
The website also has data on faith-based violence against Ahmadiyya community that faces persecution on daily basis and live in fear. According to the website, 76% of the recorded faith-based attacks were reported in the Punjab province. The cases of religious discrimination which were recorded by Violence Register 66% were against the Ahmadis. The persecution of Ahmadis in the name of religion is a matter of concern.
Extremism against Ahmadis has been rising for decades, and they are persecuted because of their faith in every corner of Pakistan. The government has failed to protect the rights of Ahmadis, due to which the number of mass murder and killings are rising. Pakistan should make efforts to promote peace at the national and international level by securing the rights of minorities living in it. In conclusion, it is important to make use of technology in campaigning and this website is good step towards that direction. All stakeholders must struggle together to build a peaceful Pakistan for everyone.