PMA launched to protect Christians’ rights in Pakistan

By Shamim Masih

ISLAMABAD: I am the true follower of the Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti and will continue the struggle for my people, said Tahir Naveed Chaudhry.

According to the sources, Tahir Naveed Ch- Ex. Member Punjab Assembly – MPA has launched a political party with the name, Pakistan Minorities Alliance – PMA aims to protect Christians’ rights in the country. Talking to the media at the launching ceremony he said that minorities in the country are being targeted frequently during the past decades. I am devoted to serve my community and have spared my life to protect their rights, he said.

The PPP government had declared August 11 as Minorities’ Day in 2009 by the effort of our leader Shahbaz Bhatti but the present government is no mood to celebrate Minorities Day. This shows the lack of interest from the newly elected government towards minorities but we made an effort to make this day, a memorable day and staged the launching ceremony, he claimed. PMA signifies Quaid –e-Azam’s speech to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 in which he had said, “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

PMA believes that Pakistan was established as a secular Islamic republic at the inception of its nationhood in 1947. As the years have distanced itself from 1947 Pakistan has become more and more entrenched in the purist Islamic thought that revolves around the theo-political jurisprudence of Sharia Law.

Chaudhry said that we have equal rights according to the founders’ speech, but religious extremist are trying to divide citizens of the country. PMA committed to promote peace and harmony in the country.

Talking to the gathering at the launching ceremony, Sohail Johnson Chairman Sharing Life Ministries said that the government has illustrated that they will not tolerate the celebration of the minorities living in the country during the holy period of Eid. Article 2 of the Constitution clearly states, “Islam shall be the State Religion of Pakistan” and this fact alone enshrines a principle that all other faiths are secondary and a natural pariah status to believer of non-Islamic teachings.

The Christian community has upheld minorities’ day celebrations despite governmental insouciance and we pray that this will not manifest in the attack on our communities, he added.