Pakistani Minorities go on Hunger Strike During the Pakistani Prime Minister's Visit to Europe

Jun 04, 2010, 10:28 ET from European Organization for Pakistani Minorities

BRUSSELS, June 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- European Organization of Pakistani Minorities organized a peaceful hunger rally today outside the European Parliament in Brussels during the visit of the Pakistani Prime Minister. The group of protestors included people from Pakistani groups representing Baluchistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Christians and Sikhs.

The demonstrators urged the European Union to intervene immediately in Pakistan to

1. Urge European Union Women's rights groups to help the women in Pakistan and force the Pakistani Government to withdraw the Sharia Law and Protect Women from slavery of Pakistani Army.

2. Ensure that the Pakistani Government provides security to Sikhs living in conflict zones and not use them as security cover; bring to justice those behind the beheading of Sikhs in Pakistan.

3. Allow International Investigators to visit Gilgit-Baltistan and investigate alleged atrocities recently committed by the Pakistani Army.

4. To implement fully the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ensure registration of all eligible voters in the new electoral rolls, including Ahmadiyya Muslims;

5. Call upon the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the human rights of minorities laid down in the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, notably Article 18 thereof, which provides that "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion";

6. Direct the Pakistani Government to implement the proposed reforms of the education system and to regulate and inspect Madrasas; remove material promoting hatred against western countries from textbooks.

7. Direct the Government of Pakistan to facilitate a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief, to Pakistan

8. Direct the Pakistani Government to give special status to the Christians and give special protection to those areas where Christians are being forcefully converted to Islam

9. Direct the Pakistani Authorities to do in-depth and fair investigations into the recent alleged illegal detention of a 14-year-old Christian girl and her brothers in the secret torture cells run by the Pakistani Air Force officials and take action against those involved.

A Group of MEPs, including Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki, met the demonstrators and assured them of their support in taking up their issues in the European Parliament. The MEPs also mentioned that they do recognize the enormity of the Human Rights problems in Pakistan and the failure of the Pakistani Government in effectively handling issues relating to minorities and women in Pakistan.

The hunger and prayer demonstration was attended by more then 130 Pakistani men and women living in Belgium and other parts of Europe.

Full Press Release and Photos and other details of the demonstration can be found on http://www.eopm.org

SOURCE European Organization for Pakistani Minorities