Pak minister urges US, West to protect Muslim minorities
Islamabad, Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari criticized the way Muslims are treated and attacked in the US and Western states noting time has come for those countries to look at their own records on religious freedom rather than preaching Muslim states.
In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), she said the US always has a political bias against Muslims which is against all conventions of human rights.
We think that given the situation in Europe where Muslims are not allowed to practice their religion freely, where we have the whole issue of blasphemy, the European themselves by indulging in such activities are contravening article 10 of European convention on Human Rights, she noted.
The minister went on to say, When we see the way Muslims are treated and attacked in the US, I think that the time has come for these countries to look at their own record on religious freedom rather than preaching to us.
She added, We go according to our constitution. Our constitution provides protection for the rights of all citizens including non-Muslims and we have churches we have temples so all different religions are allowed to practice their religions freely in Pakistan. There is no state intervention or stoppage to the practice of anybody's religion.
I think these are political pressures because Islam is a growing religion across the world. They see this as a threat to them but the fact is that it is the Muslims who are being discriminated against [in] the Western countries, Shireen Mazari said.
She added Iran and Pakistan have lots of issues on which they can work together especially in their relations with the West and how they deal with the human rights but I think there are also issues we need to take up vis-A�-vis the rights of minorities and we need to be more assertive about the rights of Muslims to practice their region freely in the West.
So there is lot of common ground[s] that Iran and Pakistan and other Muslim countries can work together. If we act as a united force we will be able to provide support to Muslims in Europe, the minister said.
She added, We have to resolve the conflicts between the Muslim world, I think the problem is that there are so many conflicts amongst the Muslim countries themselves that we can't present a strong united front to the rest of the world, then we will have a better voice and more strength in demanding resolutions of the Palestinian and Kashmir issues in accordance with the UN resolutions.
Shireen Mazari said there have been human rights violations in Yemen, especially the attack on children's bus by the Saudi-led coalition and now Saudis have themselves admitted that this was a mistake and they need to punish those who are responsible for it.
She viewed the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) can only be as effective as the members make it and if the members are in conflict with each other, the OIC cannot be effective.
Unless Muslim states resolve their own conflicts with each other, OIC will not be able to be strong entity, she said.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA