08/13/2022, 09.19
PAKISTAN
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Lahore: religious minorities launch protests and a hunger strike

by Shafique Khokhar

On August 11, Voice for Justice organized demonstrations to demand that the rights of Christians and Hindus be respected. Several religious leaders expressed closeness and solidarity.

 

Lahore (AsiaNews) - "The Pakistani government must improve laws, policies and actions to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and improve citizens' access to justice, without distinction." This was the call of participants in demonstrations organized on August 11 in Sahiwal, Vehari and Multan by Voice for Justice (Vfj) to mark National Minorities Day. 

Several speeches were made by the dignitaries who took part in the protest. Vfj President Joseph Jansen emphasized the vital role played by Christians and Hindus in the country, "It is regrettable that religious minorities have faced injustice and discrimination despite having made significant contributions to the establishment of Pakistan."

In Lahore, the organization Rwadari Tehreek Pakistan staged a two-day hunger strike in front of the Punjab Provincial Assembly to express dissatisfaction and concern with the minority representation system, which is considered unfair and undemocratic. The protesters demanded that urgent reforms be enacted to ensure that civil rights are also respected for minority citizens, who should be guaranteed the opportunity to elect their representatives by vote. 

The hunger strike was led by Samson Salamat, president of Rwadari Tehreek, who was joined by well-known local political and religious leaders who expressed their closeness and solidarity with the minorities and their demands.

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