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Amid report of attack on minorities, now religious discrimination within Pakistan Army emerges

Amid report of attack on minorities, now religious discrimination within Pakistan Army emerges

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 17 Sep 2019, 01:53 pm

Lahore, Sept 17: At a time when Pakistan is witnessing several incidents of attack on minorities and forced conversions, a religious divide in the powerful Pakistan Army has become evident after the widow of a late Major General alleged a disturbing incident experienced by her.

Durr-e-Samin Alvi, the wife of late Major General Amir Faisal Alvi, alleged that the Pakistan Army did not allow her to hold a Majlis (a Shia religious function) at her residence in Lahore cantonment whereas similar functions by Sunnis are allowed in the same colony.

Her claims clearly showed the Shia-Sunni divide within the Pakistan Army though it is well known that the Shia Muslims in Pakistan are for long  victims of extremist forces in Pakistan.

Major General Azhar Ali Shah (Retd), Member Security,  REC Sarwar Colony, sent a notice to Alvi and said: "Today, on 14th September 2019, religious activity is being held in your house. This is a clear violation of Colony Bye-Laws and Army instructions. You are hereby directed to refrain from this activity and adhere to the colony bye-laws in the future."

She said on a FB post: "I have never been so disappointed as I am today....we told guards at the entrance to let people come to our house as there is a majlis. To our shock we received a call after 5 minutes and they informed us that we cannot have majlises at our home as it is now allowed as per the bye-laws of the colony."

"Every other function, party and milaad is allowed but majlises are not allowed," she said adding that it was not so in the past while her father was serving in the Army and they faced this discrimination now when even guests were stopped from entering their colony. She said after she complained to a major, her mother was told that she cannot live in the colony unless they abide by these rules.

Alleging that the entire exercise is unconstitutional, she said their freedom of expression and right to practice their religion is threatened.

Shias constitute between 15 and 20% of the Muslim population in Pakistan, the second largest after Iran. While Shias live all across Pakistan the highest numbers are concentrated in the Gilgit-Baltistan province in the northern region.

This incident came to notice at a time when Pakistan has been witnessing several instances of attack on minorities.

The latest report came from Ghotki area where a mob vandalised a school, three temples and several houses belonging to the Hindu community in the country's Ghotki district on Sunday after a student's father reportedly accused a Hindu school principal of blasphemy.

Videos have emerged where attackers could be seen vandalising the school and a Hindu temple.

Earlier, abduction, forced conversion and marriage of a Sikh girl to a Muslim man was reported from Pakistan, triggering anger in the Sikh community worldwide.



Amid report of attack on minorities, now religious discrimination within Pakistan Army emerges

India Blooms News Service
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