Geneva [Switzerland], Mar 6 (ANI): A Non-Government Organisation (NGO) has said that the minorities facing systematic persecution in Pakistan can be given a new lease of life with the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) recently passed by the Indian Parliament.
Jayesh Joshi, a member of NGO Vaagdhara, lambasted Pakistan in his intervention during the ongoing 43rd session of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, saying "Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, and other minorities communities have faced systematic and systemic violation of their rights, very right to live - many of them have been forced to convert, face persecution or flee."
He added, "Despite repeated recommendations from international human rights mechanisms and other organisations, the blasphemy law in Pakistan, has not been amended or repealed, which had led to the continuation of violence against religious minorities, as well as to arbitrary arrests and prosecution."
Jayesh sad that a large number of such persecuted communities have been living in India for years in a state of statelessness.
He told the United Nations, "The recently amended Citizenship Act is an attempt to give an identity, a right to citizenship to these people. The international community should further reflect and dwell on strengthening such instruments, and collectively agree on effectively implementing refugee laws".
The definition of the right to development (RTD) in UN resolution 41/128 clearly expresses the right as a crosscutting, a self-standing and enabling right.
The key elements of RTD include the requirement of direct participation by the people in development, the notion of sustainable development, and the right to peace and security.
Narender Kumar of Shivi Development Society, an NGO, said, "In some South Asian countries, the terrible conflict between the religious freedom and blasphemy laws continues unabated. For instance, the blasphemy law has been frequently misused to hound members of Pakistan's minority communities to grab land and property and settle personal scores. Even unproven allegations risk violent and bloody death at the hands of a rabid mob. The use of the death penalty for frees thinkers; their enforced disappearances and application of blasphemy laws brazenly violate core human rights."
He told the Council, "Reports after reports indicate that episodes of intolerance toward the Hindu community had been increasing in Pakistan, including abductions, forced conversions to Islam, and coerced marriages of Hindu girls. Because of such unabated persecution, members of minority communities are forced to flee in desperation".
"Therefore, Shivi Development Society urges the Human Rights Council to address the issues of Xenophobia, including religious discrimination in a comprehensive manner. The amendment of the Citizenship Act in India is one such measure that gives the preferential right of citizenship because of religious persecution", said Kumar. (ANI)