'Pakistan govt's inaction emboldens extremists targeting minorities'

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 06:40 hrs

Powerful religious militant groups, which continuously target religious minorities in Pakistan, have increasingly been emboldened due to the government's inability to punish them, said speakers at a debate organized by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The News quoted the speakers, as saying that if the militants are not controlled, Pakistan would face a civil war on ethnic and sectarian lines.

The speakers included South Asia Democratic Forum's Director Paulo Casaca, political analyst and commentator Tarek Fatah and Baloch nationalist leader Mehran Baloch.

Baloch alleged that the religious militants remain an ally of the state institutions in Balochistan. He accused China and Iran for interfering in Pakistan for their own strategic interests.

He alleged that secular Baloch elements are being side-lined from the political process as a strategy to allow extremist right-wing parties to suppress their "nationalist movement".

Casaca urged the European Union and the United States to promote "real democracy" in Pakistan which means a state of law, freedom of religion, and respect of cultural identities.

Tarek Fatah said that Pakistan's future remains linked with secularism. Only the separation of religion and politics will help resolve Pakistan's horrendous crises, he said.(ANI)

More from Sify: