South Asia

Pakistan government failing on minorities, report says

Christian protest in Gojra, Pakistan
Image caption Pakistan's minorities are increasingly at risk, the report says

Pakistan's government is failing to protect the country's religious minorities, a new report says.

The rising tide of vigilante violence and extremism is threatening Christians, Hindus and Ahmedis, the report by the Jinnah Institute said.

The assassinations of two prominent advocates of minority rights this year had led to an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, it added.

The report warned extremists posed a serious threat to Pakistan's stability.

The 70-page report, entitled "A Question of Faith", was released on Tuesday by the Asian Human Rights Commission.

The Jinnah Institute think-tank is headed by the former information minister and a parliamentarian belonging to the governing Pakistan Peoples' Party, Sherry Rehman.

The report criticises President Zardari's government for backing off from repealing, or even discussing, the country's controversial blasphemy law.

It documents growing incidents of mob violence against minority groups and provides examples of abductions and forced conversions of minority women.

The report calls for repealing the country's controversial blasphemy law and urges the government to urgently undertake political and judicial reforms to ensure equality for Muslims and non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan.

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