Source: The Daily Times
By Imran Ahsan Mirza, who is an engineering management professional working as a senior project manager in a technology company in Australia
Under ordinary circumstances, it sounds strange for a government to establish such a ministry. But in our context, it is absolutely necessary
Imran Khan has been elected as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan. He has inspired regular Pakistanis everywhere, and as an Ahmadi of Pakistani origin, I welcome his government and expect improved progress within the nation during his tenure. He has appointed his cabinet and Dr Shireen Mazari has been given the portfolio of the Human Rights ministry.
Under ordinary circumstances, it sounds strange for a government to establish such a ministry. But in our context, it is absolutely necessary. Ahmadis have been at the receiving end of intimidation, mob violence, demolition of worship places, destruction of businesses, societal discrimination and murders in Pakistan. It is always convenient for our leaders and Ministers to talk about the track record of foreign nations over their human rights issues, while ignoring problems within the state. Even though I do share some of the same concerns, like over the provocative Dutch cartoons inciting Muslims across Europe, the cruelties meted out by Indian Armed forces against the people of Kashmir, the plight of Palestinians and Burmese Rohingyas, as well as conflict in Yemen and Syria, I also believe that by dealing with Pakistan’s own internal issues, by empowering our minority communities, and ensuring basic human rights for all, we can become a beacon for the world to follow.
Dr Mazari is an expert in political science and history and I would like to respectfully remind her that the past is full of instances of human rights violations by one powerful community against another. During the medieval ages, acts of oppression and torture took pace under the guise of Christianity, which led to Jews being burnt alive in their homes during the black death and even the Spanish Inquisition. St Augustine called it ‘righteous persecution which the Church of Christ inflicts upon the impious’.