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Pakistan's PM fails to defend rights of minorities

An active feudal system empowers landholding lords to oppress the working poor with impunity

Kashif Anthony Javeed

Kashif Anthony Javeed

Updated: March 10, 2020 07:57 AM GMT
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Pakistan's PM fails to defend rights of minorities

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan attends the Refugee Summit Islamabad to mark 40 years of hosting Afghan refugees in Islamabad on Feb. 17. (Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP)

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When Imran Khan took office as prime minister of Pakistan in August 2018, persecuted Christians in the Muslim-majority nation expected a policy change for the better. 

However, the 67-year-old former cricket captain did not live up to their expectations. On the contrary, violence against Christians continued uninterrupted, allegedly with the tacit support of the establishment.

The latest victim in the long chain of violence was a 22-year-old Christian youth from Punjab province. Saleem Masih was beaten black and blue for cleaning himself in a well owned by a Muslim. He died of his injuries three days later on Feb. 28.

Rights activists like Sabir Michael say religious minorities in Pakistan have become an easy target for Islamic fundamentalists because of their poverty in all areas —social, economic, cultural and political.

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