Updated: April 01, 2021 05:41 AM GMT
The new portal sheds light on political and social issues that affect religious minority groups in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has unveiled a dedicated digital platform to highlight the plight of the country’s persecuted religious minorities.
The portal, whiteintheflag.com, sheds light on political and social issues that affect Christians, Shias, Hindus, Ahmadis and other minority groups in Pakistan while attempting to create a discourse about the experience of being a minority.
The white stripe in the two-colored Pakistani flag represents religious minorities.
“Approximately 4 percent of Pakistan’s population is its minorities, yet the voices of these communities are often suppressed — between forced conversions, abductions, terrorism at their places of worship and targeted killings, Pakistan’s minorities face an uphill battle just to exist," said Obaid-Chinoy on the launch of the platform.
"With ‘White in The Flag,’ we want to ensure that citizens experiencing religious discrimination in our society are able to have their voices heard on issues that are important to them, protect and promote their rights, and have their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives and communities.
“As part of our initiative to highlight important issues that affect minorities in Pakistan, we made a short film highlighting the roles of individual activists in safeguarding the rights of minorities where the state has failed them.
“Through the contributions of three activists, Mary James Gill, a lawyer and activist, Krishan Sharma, an activist and member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and Syed Zafar Abbas Jafri, who spearheads the JDC Foundation, we see how these individuals have been working towards the rights of minorities: be it forced conversions, rights of sanitation workers or the welfare of minority communities.”
Obaid-Chinoy believes that with the rapid changes happening around the state of human rights in Pakistan, it is essential to have a focused dialogue with all necessary facts.
This resource will record the history, present and future of minority groups in Pakistan with the aim to help students, advocates and minority groups to use the content on the website to spread awareness and understand their situation.
With the new website, SOC Films will be seeking collaboration opportunities with independent bodies, education institutes and organizations that are working for minority groups.