Religious extremism is a grave menace to Pakistan’s human rights situation in the modern-day world. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan face frequent discrimination. They feel threatened in their homes and working places in Pakistan. When Pakistan was founded in 1947, its makers had dreamt of founding a secular state, where every individual regardless of their faith would be given equal opportunities and allowed to live their life freely. But, things are vice versa in modern-day Pakistan which does not reflect the vision of Quaid and Iqbal.
Additionally, things have worsened in the past few decades due to a combination of certain factors which include a radicalized Pakistani society, an educational institution that breeds hatred and a set of laws that Muslim majorities use against other minorities for their vendettas.
As a matter of grave concern, the groups that claim to be the defenders of Islam and carry out suicide attacks, kill people who are quite unaware of Islam; thus they germinate hatred and spread disharmony which exploits the image of Pakistan. These so-called “Jihadists” when interviewed, know nothing about Islam. The most recent tragedy was when a Sri Lankan man, who had been working in a Pakistani factory for the last 10 years, was tortured to death and burnt. It was quite cruel; even an animal is not treated the way he was killed. Muslims have forgotten the Quran which directs a man not to kill his fellow being since killing of one person is equal to the killing of entire humanity. It is categorically inscribed in the Quran, “Whoever kills a human, kills the whole humanity and whoever saves a human, saves the whole humanity.”
To cut the long story short, religious intolerance and sectarian violence have affected the emotions of hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims and even many Muslims living in Pakistan. All of this can end if Muslims learn the real meaning of Islam which is harmony with all cultures and religions since the present world has become a globalized society where diverse cultures are existing.
If Muslims realize the true essence of Islam, they would know how Islam supports religious harmony and protects the rights of minorities. It is high time the government deal with such factions vehemently so as to tell the world that Pakistan is a peaceful state and respects all religions.