23 November 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 03/20/2017, 15.24

    PAKISTAN

    Pakistan census ignores Sikhs, refers to Christians disparagingly

    Kamran Chaudhry

    For the first time in 19 years, Pakistan holds a census, but fails to acknowledge the existence of Sikhs, Parsees and Baha'is. Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world with more than 200 million people.

    Lahore (AsiaNews) – Christians and Sikh religious leaders have issued an appeal to the Pakistani government to ensure that the first census in 19 years is accurate and complete.

    Some prominent minority leaders spoke to AsiaNews noting some errors in the census’s religious and demographic categories.

    In particular, there is no separate entry for Sikhs, Baha’is and Parsees. For this reason, Sikhs leaders are organising demonstrations and protests in several districts.

    Although recognised, Christians are referred to by a derogatory term dating back to British rule.

    Pakistani authorities began the first phase of the census on 15 March with the second phase set for April and May. The results should be made public in late July.

    According to unofficial data, Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, mostly Muslims, with a population that is expected to exceed 200 million people.

    Estimates put the number of Christians at around four million, whilst Sikhs are thought to be just over 20,000.

    Christian leaders recently urged people to take part in the census process, but also pointed out deficiencies in the model used.

    Sikhs complain that in column 6, which refers to religion, a person can only choose between Muslim, Isaai (a despised Urdu term from colonial times used for Christians), Hindu, Qadiani/Ahmadis, scheduled castes, etc.

    "This is a very important issue. The Sikh nation has been offended by the exclusion of a separate entry in the 2017 census,” said Guru Nanak Ji Mission general secretary Kalyan Singh. “The same error was made in the 1998 census. We urgently call on the prime minister, the chief justice, and the chief of the Army Staff to recognise our separate identity. For us, this census is incomplete."

    The Sikh leader went on to claim the "right to protest peacefully, like all other citizens of Pakistan. Our complaints are against the State. We call on all groups and intellectuals to put pressure. Knowing our exact number and our [territorial] distribution might help get quotas in the federal budget."

    Pakistan Minorities Teachers' Association (PMTA) Professor Anjum James Paul, a Catholic, wrote to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In his letter, he says "Religious minorities in Pakistan have reservations on the violation of their right to equal citizenship and religious identity". The “word 'Isaai' should be replaced with 'Masihi', and Hindus should be included among the scheduled castes".

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also



    Editor's choices

    HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
    Mass for a deceased underground priest. Card. Zen asks for God ‘s grace to save the Church in China and the Holy See from the 'precipice'

    Li Yuan

    Fr. Wei Heping, 41, died in mysterious circumstances, his body dumped in a river in Taiyuan (Shanxi). For the police claim he committed suicide. Family members are not allowed to even see the autopsy report. For Card. Zen the Holy See (which "is not necessarily the Pope") seeks a compromise at all costs with the Chinese government, risking "to sell out the faithful Church". Justice and Peace publish a booklet about Fr. Wei, not to forget.


    VATICAN - ITALY
    Pope: No more war, its only fruit is death, 'our self-destruction'



    Marking the Feast of All Souls, Francis celebrated Mass at the American Cemetery in Nettuno. "When so many times in history men think of a war, they are convinced of bringing a new world, they are convinced of making a 'spring'. It ends in a winter, ugly, cruel, with the reign of terror and death."


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®