The murder of a priest by armed attackers in Peshawar is another tragic addition to the list of killings of the members of minority community in the country. This time, the blame is being put on terrorists, who want to create a law and order situation. Christians and other members of religious communities are often threatened because of their faith as they are termed as “Infidels”.
William Siraj was a clergy of the Diocese of Peshawar in the Church of Pakistan and became a victim of recent upsurge in militant activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. While grief and resolve are the right mix of response to the tragedy, some sober reflection may also be called for. In our society, there is a lack of tolerance especially for non-Muslims. It is another sacrifice paid by a member of the minority communities who sacrifice their lives in the war against terrorism almost daily. The members of minorities are often subjected to torture and violence as faith-based killings are rampant in Pakistan. In this scenario, there is a need for a crackdown on the enemies of humanity.
There is a pattern of discrimination against members of faiths other than Islam, starting from schools and going all the way up to parliament. School curricula and teaching either ignore minorities or portray them in a derogatory way. This is particularly true of Hindus and Christians. Over the years, the minority Shia, Christian, Ahmedi, Hindu communities have faced discriminatory treatment.
We as a whole nation have to stand up against this ill treatment of the minorities. Security agencies need to clamp down against extremists who want to impose their misplaced agenda. Christian minorities in KPK province are always under threat of extremists. They have bombed Churches and worship places of Hindus and Sikhs and killed hundreds. Minorities are not safe in any area of Pakistan and it is high time, the government took adequate security measures for them.