Christian leader calls for a separate Christian province in Pakistan
A Christian leader in Pakistan called recently for the formation of a separate Christian province in the country, according to the Pakistan Christian Post.
Nazir S. Bhatti, head of the Pakistan Christian Congress said recently that Pakistan has become a safe haven for Islamic extremist organizations. As a result, they can wage Jihad against the Pakistan government at any time, the PCP reported.
Because of this, Bhatti recommended dividing the Punjab into four provinces, including a Christian province to preserve the country’s solidarity and integrity. Christians are the second largest population in Punjab, according to the PCP.
As of now, some 20 million Pakistani Christians are victims of discrimination and denied equal democratic rights in Pakistan, the PCP said. Nazir Bhatti noted:
- Christians are treated like slaves and untouchables.
- Christians may not dine in Muslim owned restaurants nor drink water in the same glass as Muslims in public places.
- One elected Christian member of the National Assembly of Pakistan was forced to pay for cups, glasses and plates when his delegation ate food from a roadside Muslim vendor.
- Muslim Imams call Christianity a religion of infidels.
- Muslims may force Christian wives to convert, but they may not eat with them.
- If a Christian is found to be eating a Muslim dinner, they will be beaten.
- Christians may not enter the catering business in Pakistan.
- Muslims must not eat food prepared by Christians.
According to Bhatti, the All India Christian Association favored the formation of Pakistan as a separate country upon the assurance that both faiths shall enjoy equal rights. With this assurance, Christians in the Pakistan Movement played a large role in gaining the country’s independence in 1947.
However after the legislation of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1973 Christians became second class citizens in their own land, according to the PCP.
Bhatti noted that historically, Christians were sons of Pakistan soil, while Muslims were invaders who migrated from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Bhatti said the Muslims forcibly converted Sindhi, Balochi and indigent Punjabi to Islam, the PCP reported.