Pakistan challenged on persecution of Christians and other minorities

The Foreign Minister of Pakistan has been criticised in the UK’s House of Lords after he suggested last week that persecution of Christians and other minorities were merely “individual incidents” being “whipped up” by “western interests”.

Lord David Alton of Liverpool took him to task by saying not only were those incidents real, but they contradicted the promise of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, that minorities of all religions, castes and creeds would be safeguarded.

Lord Alton challenged the foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, to address the victims of those incidents:

“Try telling that to the two children forced to watch a lynch mob of 1,200 burn their parents alive. Pakistan fails the Jinnah test, not western interests, when no one is brought to justice for the murder of the Christian Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti. It fails the Jinnah test when 1,000 Hindu and Christian girls are forcibly married and converted. It fails when, in Punjab, Sadaf Masih, a 13 year-old girl, is kidnapped, forcibly converted and married and when, in Sindh, the same thing happened to two Hindu girls”.