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Christian entrepreneurs come out of the shadows in Pakistan

Rights organizations claim non-Muslim businessmen are often forced to survive by hiding their identity

Christian entrepreneurs come out of the shadows in Pakistan

Punjab's Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Ejaz Alam Augustine (center) at the Christian Business Summit 2021 in Lahore on Feb. 18. (Photo supplied)

Dil Nawaz is used to seeing his Muslim employees refusing cooked meals at his clothing company.

“We understand that. Christian businessmen are usually frightened of allegations of blasphemy and extrajudicial killings. Anybody can exploit us,” said Nawaz.

The managing director of Zarshu, a clothing brand, then remembered being a student at Punjab University. “Once I objected to the growing pile of rubbish in the canteen. The owner replied that a chura [low caste] will clean it. The discrimination exists but we learn to ignore it.”

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Nawaz referred to a pejorative word Pakistani Muslims use to insult Christians. He was addressing a panel discussion on the space for minority-led ventures in Pakistan at the Christian Business Summit 2021 held in Lahore on Feb. 18.

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