Canadian Min Responds To World Sindhi Cong Petition On Human Rights In Pak
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly has responded to the World Sindhi Congress parliamentary petition regarding Notan Lal case and other human rights issues in Pakistan. Her response comes after the World Sindhi Congress (WSC) submitted a parliamentary petition in Canada on September 21.
Canada’s MP Garnett Genuis presented the petition in the parliament about the Notan Lal case, misuse of blasphemy law against minorities, abduction, and forced conversion of young girls to Islam, World Sindhi Congress said in a Facebook post.
In response to the petition, Melanie Joly in a statement said, “We recognize that these cases of child, early, and forced marriages continue to be an issue in Pakistan. The promotion and protection of human rights, including the rights of the child, freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression, is an integral part of Canada’s foreign policy.”
She further said, “It is also a priority in Canada’s engagement with Pakistan. The High Commission of Canada to Pakistan is aware of and following the Notan Lal case in collaboration with like-minded countries.” World Sindhi Congress expressed gratitude to Genuis and Joly for their support,” according to World Sindhi Congress.
The World Sindhi Congress in a Facebook post stated that they will continue to raise their voice against human rights violations in Sindh, including systematic discrimination of Hindus in Sindh in all international forms.
While presenting the petition in the parliament, Garnett Genuis said, “The petition is about a very serious issue. It’s on the situation in Pakistan, particularly on Pakistan’s blasphemy law. United States Commission on International Religious Freedom notes that the blasphemy law has contributed egregiously human rights abuses…and overall atmosphere of intolerance for religious minorities often leading to violence and discrimination.”
He further said, “Petitioners particularly highlighting the case of Notan Lal, the owner, and principal of a private school in Ghotki Pakistan who was detained and charged under the blasphemy law after a student falsely accused him. Petitioners note that a very high percentage of blasphemy targets minorities such as Ahmadiyya Muslims, Hindus, and Christians. The arrest of Notan Lal was followed by riots and violent attacks on local Hindu temples.”
Garnett Genuis said, “Petitioners also note that abduction and forced marriage of women and girls of minority communities, in particular, Hindu girls from the Sindh region of Pakistan as being an element of human rights abuses that were seen. Petitioners, therefore, call upon the government of Pakistan to combat the abduction and forced marriage of women and girls from minority communities, to condemn the imprisonment of Notan Lal and the blasphemy law.” (ANI)
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