Pak Foreign Minister Counters Accusations Of Christian Persecution
In his recent visit to Brussels, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while talking to media representatives claimed that religious minorities’ persecution in Pakistan did not constitute a trend.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi further added that recent claims of Christian persecution were example of ‘western interests’ that may want to paint ‘Pakistan in a particular way’.
There has been an international outcry over Aasia Bibi’s case. Aasia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman exonerated from Blasphemy charges last year by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Aasia remained on death row for almost eight years and now has left the country for Canada after she was acquitted.
Upon questions regarding Christian community’s persecution in Pakistan, Qureshi denied the claims of ‘a trend’. He went on to quote the very recent incident in the United Kingdom where fatal stabbings occurred known as ‘Knife Crime’.
“I can quote you examples of how knife crime has gone up in Britain that is a clear reflection of an increased intolerance within a society which has been so tolerant, so accommodating. So there are examples over here, and there could be some examples over there,” Qureshi said, published in The Guardian.
“But I can assure you that Christians are very welcome. The Christian community in Pakistan is very positive and a very responsible community … We respect them and we want them to be there. We will do everything possible to protect them and we are.”
Qureshi went to Brussels from London where he had met UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. In his meeting with Secretary Hunt both discussed bilateral relations, matters pertaining to security, education, culture, etc.
Qureshi was questioned on various issues regarding blasphemy accusations, Pakistani women being smuggled to China, Ahmedi persecution etc.