Amid COVID-19 Crisis, Pakistani Hindus and Christians are facing religious discrimination problem in capturing the aid from the government.
USCIRF (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom) is an independent, bipartisan United States federal government entity that monitors and reports on threats related to religious freedom across the globe.
USCIRF has expressed grief over the reports that exposed the incidents where the food and other aids declared by the Pakistan government were denied to Hindus and Christians in some of the parts of the country.
On Tuesday, a US bipartisan panel in a statement said-
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is troubled by the reports of food aid being denied to Hindus and Christians amid the spread of Covid-19 in Pakistan,
As Covid-19 continues to spread, vulnerable communities within Pakistan are fighting hunger and to keep their families safe and healthy. Food aid must not be denied because of one’s faith. We urge the Pakistani government to ensure that food aid from distributing organisations is shared equally with Hindus, Christians, and other religions minorities.
USCIRF commissioner Anurima Bhargava said –
These actions are simply reprehensible,
USCIRF Commissioner Johnnie Moore said –
In a recent address by Prime Minister [Imran] Khan to the international community, he highlighted that the challenge facing governments in the developing world is to save people from dying of hunger while also trying to halt the spread of Covid-19. This is a monumental task laying before many countries.
Prime Minister Khan’s government has the opportunity to lead the way but they must not leave religious minorities behind. Otherwise, they may add on top of it all one more crisis, created by religious discrimination and inter-communal strife.
Especially the southern part of Karachi has witnessed many incidents where the food and other materials were denied to Hindus and Christians during the lockdown period. Mainly NGO Saylani Welfare International Trust is reported of such acts across the country.