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Unabating distress of minorities

Muhammad Kashif

The relentless oppressions against minorities in Pakistan continue to flourish and seems like there is no end to these. A teen-aged girl, Pooja Oad hailing from a Hindu community, was cold-bloodedly murdered in Sukkur, the third largest city after Karachi and Hyderabad in province Sindh. The main accused Wahid Lashari and two other accomplices broke into her house in an attempt of abduction. Upon her resistance, being enraged they launched fire on her, leaving the girl dead on spot. The murderer Lashari wanted to tie knot with her after coercing her to convert to Islam which ostensibly she refused to do. At a tender age of her where she must have been concocting dreams about her future and a lot of hopes would’ve burgeoned in her parents’ chest, but sadly she would have never thought of such horrible moment the fate had carried for her. The fearlessness of perpetrators can be seen from this thing that the miscreants carried out this act of terror in a broad daylight and that’s too in an open street, as per some reports. Regrettably, it’s our system that instills a sense of audacity in these criminals as feudal, affluent and influential people are out there to support and harbor these culprits. Besides, loopholes in our judicial system, such as attributing the killings to religious colors and getting away, are itself a prompting factor for them. Many lives have been swallowed on pretext of religious grounds which is a miserably best escape route for these miscreants. If the culprits involved in the past crimes of such sort had been given stern punishments, this incident might not have cropped up or at least not in such a valiant way. The ghastly incident of Pooja Oad also exposes categorically how the lives of minorities are unsafe and prone to subjugation in Pakistan. It’s not the first incident but there are heaps of incidents of such nature which manifested in past as well. On January 27th, 2019, a horrific incident unleashed when a Muslim man named Agha Salar killed a Hindu girl, Rajkumari Talreja in the wake of her refusal to marry him which infuriated him, and he went on to devour an impeccable life. The quirky thing of this incident was that the karma served him well as he took his own life too afterwards. Purportedly, he felt humiliated that a Hindu girl turned down his proposal. Similarly, in 2020, a Christian woman was killed upon her refusal to marry a Muslim man. The perpetrator absconded after the murder and matter rested gradually. And no report about if he was apprehended or not later. With prevalence of technology, closely to say since inception of social media, it’s become easier for victims to endeavor for justice wrong doers. A few years back, lots of despicable incidents would go unnoticed but thanks to social media which has given a voice to voiceless people and empowered them to bring forth injustices and mal practices committed against them without any hurdles. Still, many people tap their mouth or forced to stifle their voices who subsequently don’t call for justice openly as they fear their grimy fate which can spring up if they demand justice or raise voice against affluent and influential people. Minorities inhabiting in Pakistan face numerous challenges majorly forced conversions and marriages, religious discrimination- abuse of blasphemous law. All these challenges are supposed to be sorted out substantively only then such incidents can be warded off. Stringent laws should be concocted to curb crimes against minorities. Although, nothing can make up for the irreparable loss that Pooja Oad’s parents endured but still a stern punishment to culprits will assuage their anger along with it will set a precedent for future.

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