05 August 2010
Protest march makes 'clear statement of concern' for Pakistan's minorities
As President Asif Ali Zardari faces criticism for visiting Britain while a natural disaster ravages Pakistan, a hundred protestors have been demonstrating serious concerns over increasing pressure on minorities in Pakistan by staging a London rally.
Multi-faith campaigners led by the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) and supported by the South Asian Forum of the Evangelical Alliance paraded London's streets on Saturday calling for the repeal of Pakistan's Blasphemy laws. Petitions were submitted at the Pakistan High Commission and Downing Street, while representatives from Hindu, Sikh and Christian human rights groups joined former Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir Ali, the former Christian Peoples Alliance Councillor Alan Craig and MEP Jean Lambert, in speaking out against injustices in Pakistan.
The multi-faith peace rally follows recent threats of violence towards Christians in Pakistan and the tragic anniversary of a massacre in Pakistani's Punjab province.
Robin Thomson from South Asian Forum said: "The peace march was a clear statement of our concern for the peace and security of all the people of Pakistan, as we joined with others of different faiths. At the same time it was clearly in the name of Jesus, as we knelt on the pavement to pray the Lord's Prayer in Piccadilly and Whitehall."
Wilson Chowdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Association said: "Following the protest we continue to raise a voice for religious minorities in Pakistan. A group of Pakistani Christians, protested outside the hotel where Pakistan's President has been staying on Tuesday. We urged the Government for the repeal of Pakistan's Blasphemy Law, allowing for the protection of individuals of all faiths."
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