Pakistan, October 2016 –
This website highlights violations faced by religious minorities in Pakistan, drawing on incident reports from local sources.
Groups such as Hindus, Christians, and Ahmadis, as well as sectarian minorities such as Shi’a, face multiple challenges including acute levels of discrimination and insecurity. This resource is part of a broader initiative focused on tracking and addressing various forms of violations.
Though predominantly Muslim, at around 95 per cent of the population, Pakistan nevertheless includes a wide variety of religious minorities, reflecting its long and complex history. Hindus (1.9 per cent) and Christians (1.6 per cent) make up the largest minorities, but there are also many smaller religious groups such as Bahá’i, Buddhists, Kalasha, Parsis, Sikhs and […]
3 min read
On paper, religious minorities in Pakistan enjoy many protections in both national and international law. From freedom of worship to the right to equality and non-discrimination, many principles are enshrined in the Constitution and other legislation – yet in practice continue to be denied to these communities. Furthermore, certain laws in Pakistan, such as its […]
13 min read
Pakistan’s Christians, accounting for 1.59 per cent of the population according to the last census conducted in 1998, are primarily located in Punjab province, including the neighbourhood of Youhanabad in Lahore, as well as Karachi and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The community has long been the target of violence and discrimination. However, in recent years sectarian violence […]
4 min read
‘Whenever we just think about the incident we are shocked and start trembling.’ Emmanuel* was one of many people spending Easter Sunday at the Gulshan-i-Iqbal park on 28 March 2016 when it was hit by a suicide blast, killing over 70 people and injuring more than 300. The park, located in south-western Lahore and one […]
6 min read
Christians continue to be among the most marginalized communities in Pakistan, facing widespread poverty and often limited employment opportunities beyond underpaid or stigmatized work as sanitary workers. This reflects a long history of discrimination that, besides perpetuating their social exclusion, also leaves them vulnerable to violence and intimidation. This section outlines a selection of documented incidents against the community between August 2015 and October 2016 reported by local rapporteurs, ranging from everyday hostility to abuses such as kidnapping and targeted attacks, often following allegations of blasphemy.
While Pakistan remains a diverse country, since the Partition of India in 1947, migration and a protracted process of social and religious homogenization has seen the Pakistani Hindu community dwindle. Partition saw large-scale movement of communities across newly defined borders between India and Pakistan, with Muslims in what became India fleeing primarily to Sindh and […]
4 min read
Hindus in Pakistan make up some of the poorest segments of society in Pakistan, facing multiple forms of discrimination on account of their caste and religion, and with minority Hindu women often suffering disproportionately as targets of forced conversion. This section documents a selection of reported human rights abuses between June and October 2016 that reflect some of the challenges facing Hindus in Pakistan. These incidents focus specifically on the province on Sindh, where Hindus are concentrated in the largest numbers, and where they face some of the most acute abuses including bonded labour, kidnapping, forced conversion and other forms of exploitation.
Everyday discrimination and the threat of violence have driven many Pakistani Hindus in recent years to leave their country for India, reproducing the legacy of Partition and undercutting the ideal of religious pluralism within Pakistan. Commonly travelling on 30-day pilgrim visas, many arrive in India by train, taking the Thar Express to the state of […]
10 min read
Hazara are an ethnic group predominantly based in Afghanistan, but also with a large population in Pakistan, with estimates of this group ranging from 650,000 to 900,000. The majority of Hazara in Pakistan, approximately 500,000, live in the city of Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan. While some Hazara are Sunni, the majority identify as […]
2 min read
Pakistan currently has the largest Ahmadi population in the world: though their exact numbers are unknown, estimates suggest there are hundreds of thousands and even millions of community members in the country. Most were originally based in Qadian, India prior to independence, but after the 1947 Partition they migrated en masse to Pakistan. Here, they […]
2 min read
This section examines rights violations against Ahmadis through detailed accounts of selected recent incidents. These cases, gathered by local rapporteurs, provide a clearer sense of the dynamics involved in abuses against the community. While not exhaustive, they illustrate how social and institutional discrimination against Ahmadis converge, with local officials often complicit in enabling discriminatory practices. This is reflected not only in opportunistic attacks and land grabs against Ahmadis, but also in public denunciations by politicians and national conferences vilifying the community.
Your use of this website constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.
This website is intended to provide information about MRG’s activities and issues relevant to its objectives.
You must not use our website fraudulently or for any unlawful purpose.
We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is up to date and correct, but we cannot guarantee that it is 100% free of inaccuracies, errors or omissions. We cannot take responsibility for any inaccuracies, omissions or errors attributable to the author of such materials.
We do not accept liability (as far as permitted by law) for any loss arising from any use of or reliance on information or links included in this website.
Users of this website must not knowingly transmit any data, send or upload any material that contains viruses or other harmful programmes which could harm computer software or hardware.
Minority Rights Group is not responsible for ensuring the availability of this website or the timeliness or otherwise of any content or information being made available to you.
We reserve the right to amend any part of the website at any time.
Except as specifically set out in these Terms and Conditions, to the fullest extent permissible by law, neither Minority Rights Group International nor any of its affiliates, directors, employees or other representatives will be liable (whether under contract, tort, statute or any other way) for any of the following losses or damage (whether such losses were foreseeable or not):
losses suffered by third parties; loss of data; loss of profit; loss of revenue; loss of business or opportunity; loss of goodwill; or any indirect, consequential, special or exemplary damages arising from the use of the website, the inability to use the website, the results of use of the website, any website linked to it or any material contained in the website. For the avoidance of doubt, the losses listed immediately above are intended to be severable.
Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall exclude or limit MRG’s liability for death or personal injury caused by its negligence or for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation or for any liability which cannot be excluded or limited by law.
You are responsible for making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to our website. Access to the website is permitted on a temporary basis. We reserve the right to terminate your access to the website or any part of it or to withdraw any of our services at any time, without notice, for any reason (including without limitation any breach of these Terms and Conditions). Occasionally, we may restrict access to some parts of our website and to our entire website.
You will be responsible for all losses or damages we suffer (including our reasonable legal fees) that are caused by your breach of these Terms and Conditions or by you using the website other than in accordance with these Terms and Conditions/other than as you are allowed to.
These Terms and Conditions are subject to English law. All claims or disputes arising out of or in connection with the use of the websites shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
Trademarks and copyright
Copyright, trademarks and all other intellectual property rights on this website are either owned or licensed to Minority Rights Group International, unless otherwise stated. Compliance with copyright law is your liability.
No copying or distribution for any commercial or business use is permitted without prior written consent from Minority Rights Group International. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
You may reproduce Minority Rights Group International’s copyright material appearing on this website free of charge without specific permission for private personal use only, as long as the copyright and source indications are also copied; the document is not amended in any way, is copied in its entirety and is not reproduced in a derogatory or misleading manner or context.
Our permission to reproduce copyright material does not extend to any material on this website that is the copyright material of any other person.
We welcome links to our website. If you want to display the content of our website surrounded or framed by material not originating from MRG, you must obtain prior written permission from MRG. Please contact email@example.com for such permission.
Any link to one of our websites must comply with the following conditions:
(i) the link must consist of the following text only: MRG and the URL in respect of which MRG’s consent has been given;
(ii) the link must not create the false impression that your organisation or any of its products or services, is recommended by or associated in any way with MRG.
(iii) the existence of the link, its position, appearance or any other aspect of it must not damage or be likely to damage the name or reputation of MRG.
(iv) selection of the link by a user must display our website as a full screen and not within a frame on the website on which the link appears;
(v) you shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure that the use and existence of the link does not cause the transmission to the MRG website of viruses or other deleterious programming routines.
We reserve the right to require the removal of any link to our websites at any time (whether or not previous consent to such link has been given).×
Minority Rights Group is committed to protecting your privacy. We ensure that all your personal information is held securely and safely.
Minority Rights Group holds and processes personal details in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. If you have any questions about how your data is handled, please telephone us on +44 (0) 207 422 4200 between 9.30 and 5.30pm GMT.
It is your right to request details of the information we hold about you. For a copy of your personal information held by us, write to the address below together with a cheque for £10 made out to Minority Rights Group International. We will respond within 40 days of receiving your letter. Make sure you also send us the cheque (to cover administrative costs) and proof of identity, such as a copy of your passport or driver’s license, to ensure that there’s no mix-up between your identity and someone else’s.
Minority Rights Group
54 Commercial Street
London E1 6LT
For more information about data protection and your rights, see the information commissioner’s website at http://www.dataprotection.gov.uk
We collect data from our websites for a number of reasons, primarily to provide you with the most useful and relevant information and services. We do this through collecting and analysing both anonymous, or aggregate, data, and personal data volunteered by you online.
In some areas of our websites, for example forms, orders, emails, polls and survey submissions, we collect personal data such as your name, address, telephone number and email. We use this information only for the reason you have supplied it or any other reason for which you have given us permission to do so.
Where relevant, information is provided to explain why the data is being collected and how it will be used. In some cases we may ask you to ‘opt-in’ to receive future communications including email, or text marketing. In other cases, when we ask you for information about yourself you may, by ticking the appropriate box provided, tell us that you do not want future communications from us.
Should it be necessary to collect sensitive personal data, you will be asked for your consent for us to process this data. We will also explain why we are asking for it.
In addition to information given explicitly by you, we also collect information about your visit to our website (for example, the date and time of your visit and the pages that you view). This information is not connected to you personally, and is in aggregate form. This kind of data helps us to understand how our visitors use our site so that future website development can better meet your needs.
Cookies are small text files stored by your web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome) on your computer, tablet or mobile phone to enable functionality on a website (for example storing user preferences).
The website creates a ‘user session’ cookie for each user who visits. This cookie doesn’t store any personal information – it simply allows the website to distinguish between one anonymous user and another when serving website pages. This allows the website to provide basic functionality such as a browsing history for a particular user, or to be able count of the total number of users currently viewing the site.
If this website allows users to log in to the site, or has a shop, the user session cookie will allow the website to link the current user to their account and/or to their shopping basket.
This website also uses Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a tool that allows the behaviour of users on a website to be analysed, to help a website owner to provide the best user experience. Google Analytics generates cookies that identify whether you’ve visited the website before, which pages you visit etc. These cookies cannot be used to identify individuals; they are used for statistical purposes only and the data never shows any confidential information. The data itself is only visible to the website owner, the website provider Tincan and the relevant team at Google.
If this website includes functionality to interact with social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Disqus, or uses Share This or Add This services that allow interaction with a wide range of third party social media websites, you should be aware that those sites may set cookies while you’re using this website. For more details please consult the privacy policies of the services in question.
If this website includes video/audio content from You Tube or Vimeo you should be aware that those sites may set cookies while you’re using this website. For more details please consult the privacy policies of the services in question.
You can restrict or block the cookies used by the website through your browser settings but this will impact your user experience. The Help function within your browser should tell you how.
Alternatively, you can visit www.aboutcookies.org which provides directions on how to block cookies on all major browsers. This site also explains how you can delete cookies that have already been stored on your computer as well as general information about cookies.
You should be aware though that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of the websites you visit. Why we’re interested
The information we gather helps us to send you the right thing at the right time – to fulfil orders, or send you updates.
We may also use your details to contact you some time in the future to tell you about our work. If there’s a disaster overseas, we may write to you to tell you about the need for more funds, or we may write to tell you about a big campaign about which we think you might want to know more.
Our policy is to email you only if you have said that you want electronic communication from us. This is in accordance with the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations. All our emails will offer you the chance to decline future emails.
As a matter of Minority Rights Group policy, we do not sell, rent or pass on any information about you to other organisations. However, we may need to pass on information when required by law or by a regulatory body (for example, for a Gift Aid audit by the Inland Revenue or if asked for details by a law enforcement agency).
We may provide third parties with overall information about visitors and users to our site, but this information, as explained above, is both aggregate and anonymous. Your privacy is protected. Occasionally, we employ agents to carry out tasks on our behalf, such as fulfilling orders or processing donations. These agents are bound by our confidentiality policy to protect your privacy just as we would ourselves.
We want to make sure the information we hold about you is correct. If you spot any errors, if your contact details change, or if you do not wish to receive information about Minority Rights Group, let us know. You can contact us by telephone on +44 (0) 207 422 4200.
We maintain a high level of physical and electronic security in relation to the collection, storage and disclosure of your information. We take reasonable steps to ensure that any information we hold about you is protected. When processing financial transactions, we use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts information given over the internet. The software scrambles data transmitted between your computer and our server, where it is unscrambled securely.
However, as we all know, the internet carries risks. While we make every reasonable effort to ensure that information sent to us is done so securely, we cannot warrant the security of information transmitted to us through the internet. When you transmit information to us via the internet, you do so at your own risk.
This website has been produced with the assistance of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Minority Rights Group International, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
Thank you to Human Friends Organisation, our partner in Pakistan supporting the documentation of violations against minorities.
Thank you to Mirza Arif Beg for providing photos, including the homepage top photo. Thank you to Zehra Abid for her work on the chapter ‘Violations against Christians in Pakistan’.