WHAT “RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION” IN PAKISTAN? By Bishop Timotheus Nasir.
15 Jan 2005
I have read the article “Religious discrimination through passport” by Mr. Rehaman Faiz. I would disagree with Mr. Rehman Faiz on this “Issue”. We the Pakistani Christians don’t see any religious discrimination in any a
First and foremost, we have right to breath “Islamic Oxygen” made by the “Islamic plants” of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. (Though it has been “polluted” by Mullahs, yet we can use it)
We have “right” to stay alive. (Though the “right” to decide that how should we live and how long, lies with the Mullahs who have become “gods” in their Islamic republic of Pakistan)
We have “right” of Property, (though Mullahs can claim it at any time for any reason) We have right to move around “freely”. We have right to eat, drink water from our own “wells”.
(in villages) Carry our own glass. We have “right” to conceal our identity. We have “right” to worship, under Police protection. We have “right” to write even to the President regarding our problems, though he reserves the “right” not to answer. We have “right” to launch a complaint against any one at any level. And we have “right” to be “selected” (after paying a handsome amount to various political parties) And we have “right” to remain “silent”!!!
In presence of so many “Rights” what is the big deal that “Column of Religion” is being demanded by Islamic religious groups of Pakistan. They too have “some rights”! I used my personal “right” to demand a separate type of Passport. I demanded a “White” passport so that I as a Christians can be identified Easley. I also used my “right” to suggest other religious minorities to choose the color of their liking for their passport.
Unfortunately, we the Pakistani people are too touchy on small things like having “column of religion” in our passport. We forget that “once” we were citizens of Republic of Pakistan. After 14th August 1973, we became “subjects” of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Yet we fail to understand the difference between “citizen” and “subject”.
The “Islamic Religious Leadership” of Pakistan has always been narrow minded, under educated and ignorant. They can not see any thing beyond Saudi Arabia and Qadiani sect or religious intolerance what ever it is. Thanks to first Afghan war (1979-1989) the Mullaha who was considered, recognized and accepted as a third rate creature, has gained control of almost every thing. The present government is too “moderate and enlightened” that small issues like minority issues are no issues for it.
In this situation why should we the Christian raise another issue and problem for our government and press upon demand of deleting the column of religion from Pakistani Passport. My first passport issued in1966 did not have the column of “religion”. My second passport issued in 1981 did not have ”column of religion”, yet a rubber stamp was affixed to identify my religion. In 1988 my fresh passport had “printed column” of religion and my last passport 2004 has it. So what? I traveled yet no one asked me my religion. I will travel again, I am sure no one will ask me my religion. Yet I see a great advantage of religious column in my passport, I will be identified as Christian and not Muslim who have lost their credibility all over the world even in Islamic world. I wish that my identity as Christian be more highlighted and that is why I demanded a “White Passport” instead of regular “Green” Pakistani Passport.
I see the demand of ignorant Islamic leadership as blessing for me. At least I shall not be “labeled” a “terrorist” on the first sight of my “White Passport”.
Lastly I would with respect, suggest Mr. Rehman Faiz not to take the “passport issue” so seriously. There are more serious issues waiting for us and they might come under “Religious Discrimination” not this issue any way.