Covid: US body slams Imran Khan over discrimination to Hindus, Christians

Hindus and other minorities are facing discrimination and harassment in Pakistan as coronavirus pandemic is raging across the world. In Sindh, Christians and Hindus are denied food rations on account of their religious identities.

Meanwhile, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has slammed the Imran Khan government for denying food aid to Hindus and Christians in that country amid the pandemic. Many Hindus and Christians are forced to change their religion for free rations.

Pakistan continues to be in the tier one of the USCIRF list of the countries whose record on religious freedom remains abysmal.

A statement of the USCIRF said it was troubled by the reports of food aid being denied to Hindus and Christians in Pakistan amid pandemic.

Pointing out the controversy over the Saylani Welfare International Trust, the US body said the Trust had refused food aid to Hindus and Christians. Describing such actions “reprehensible”, the USCIRF commissioner Anurima Bhargava said: “As COVID-19 continues to spread, vulnerable communities within Pakistan are fighting hunger and to keep their families safe and healthy. Food aid must not be denied because of one’s faith.”

One of the USCIRF commissioners, Johnnie Moore warned that if the Khan government continued with such policies, Pakistan would add an additional crisis. “Prime Minister Khan’s government has the opportunity to lead the way but they must not leave religious minorities behind. Otherwise, they may add on top of it all one more crisis, created by religious discrimination and inter-communal strife,” he added.