Equal citizenship in Pakistan is a right, not a grant from state
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Constitution says equal rights to religions but contradicts itself when it gives Islam prominence
A file image of Pakistani Christians attending Mass during Easter celebrations in Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore. According to Pakistan's Constitution, a non-Muslim cannot hold the country's highest political positions. (Photo by Arif Ali/AFP)
Religious minorities in Pakistan and elsewhere have always raised concerns about discriminatory attitudes and unequal citizenship.
In modern democratic states, the civil rights of every citizen are recognized as they enable people to live decent and honorable lives. As democracy ensures the provision of public good and equality, civil rights ensure a good life for individuals and provides equal opportunities; they are quite rightly treated as fundamental in modern constitutions.
The primary function of a national constitution is to guarantee universal rights and to ensure all citizens of the state are dealt with equally. The guarantees are supposed to be unambiguous but Pakistan's Constitution is a document as ambiguous as it gets. It does not grant religious minorities equal rights either.
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