09/21/2010, 00.00
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UN: hunger strike for minorities in Pakistan

The European Organisation for Pakistani Minorities is staging a protest during the meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council. It slams Pakistan for fiddling with census data to deny greater representation to minorities.

Geneva (AsiaNews) – The European Organisation for Pakistani Minorities (EOPM) launched a three-week hunger strike that includes an awareness-raising campaign in front of the United Nations building in Geneva.

The 15th session of the UN Human Rights Council opened on 13 September in the Swiss city. Demonstrators want to bring to the attention of the member states the suffering endured by Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Ahmadi communities who live in Pakistan. In recent months in fact, attacks by Muslim fundamentalists against religious minorities have intensified, including attacks against their places of worship.

In order to protest the situation, two Protestant clergymen, Rev Saloman Masah and Rev Tahir Yaqub, came to Geneva from Pakistan and sat down in front of the UN building where they intend to stay until the international community hears their plea.

The situation of Pakistani minorities tends to be ignored because the government usually claims that 95 per cent of the population is Muslim.

For the EOPM, “Christians alone represent 5 to 6 percent of the population.” If other non-Muslim groups were added, the overall minority population would be much higher than claimed. However, “Pakistani census intentionally keeps minority figures low to deny them greater representation.”

Ultimately, this shows how much the country is in the hands of Muslim extremists.

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