Pakistan Church, rights groups call for better protection of minorities — UCA News com

Demand follows Ismaili bus massacre and renewed threats by militant Islamic groups

<p>From left to right, Fr Saleh Diego, Ambassador of Peace & Interfaith Harmony Allama Ahsan Siddiqui, Archbishop of Karachi Joseph Coutts, activist Ansar Burney, Hindu leader Vijay Mahraj and Interfaith Commission for Justice and Peace member Kailash Sarhadi join hands during an event organized to call for better protection of Pakistan’s minority groups (Credit: ucanews.com)</p>

From left to right, Fr Saleh Diego, Ambassador of Peace & Interfaith Harmony Allama Ahsan Siddiqui, Archbishop of Karachi Joseph Coutts, activist Ansar Burney, Hindu leader Vijay Mahraj and Interfaith Commission for Justice and Peace member Kailash Sarhadi join hands during an event organized to call for better protection of Pakistan’s minority groups (Credit: ucanews.com)

The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), the Catholic Church’s human rights body in Pakistan, has called for better protection of minority groups amid renewed threats against them by Islamist militants.

The demand comes days after 45 members of the minority Shia Ismaili community were massacred in a gun attack on a bus in Karachi, claimed by several Sunni groups, including Islamic State.

Ismailis are Shia Muslims who also revere Imam Ismail who died in 765 AD. They number about 15 million worldwide with about 500,000 living in Pakistan.

The militants responsible for last week’s bloodshed also threatened to launch more attacks on minorities, including Christians.

In a joint statement condemning the attack, Archbishop of Karachi Joseph Coutts and NCJP National Director Fr Saleh Diego said the May 13 “killing of innocent people on the basis of their faith is unacceptable”.

 

“We demand from both the federal government and provincial governments to take serious and effective measures to prevent such atrocities and also plead to increase security for all minority groups.”

 

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