Monday, 4 September 2017

Pakistan: "Minimum Common Agenda" to "Stop Violance" in the name of "Religion"

We agree on the following minimum agenda:

  1. We stand for human rights and equal citizenship rights for all Pakistanis.
  2. We oppose Takfir (declaring anyone a non-Muslim/Kafir) and subjecting anyone to persecution on that basis. We demand that takfir be treated and tried as hate-speech. 
  3. We demand that the Government of Pakistan take immediate action against all forms of hate speech which may be defined as words, spoken or written, that incite violence and hatred against any community based on their religious affiliations.
  4. We demand that the Government of Pakistan act against any extra-judicial killings or violence in the name of religion and false accusations of “blasphemy”. We demand the reform of Pakistan’s laws specifically related to the “blasphemy laws”.
  5. We demand that the Government and institutions of the state not be party to campaigns that mislead the public about ‘blasphemous content’ on digital media. The Government and state institutions should in fact lead efforts to raise awareness about these issues.
  6. We support the rule of law and due process. We demand that the Government enhance the capacity of law enforcing agencies to deal with crime and violence at the local level (that often feed into other levels). 
  7. We demand that educational curriculum at all levels should include teachings that promote compassion, tolerance and respect for human rights. Text books should be revised to expunge any material that incites or preaches hatred and/or violence against any community or section of society.
  8. We demand that the Government of Pakistan act against banned outfits and individuals operating in the name of religion. The Government must also publicize the list of banned outfits engaged in sectarian and religious violence and proceed legally against them.
  9. We demand that Pakistani electronic media regulation be improved to effectively penalise radio and television channels that give airtime to those who engage in hate speech and hold accountable media persons who openly incite violence in the name of religion.
  10. We demand that the Government immediately freeze assets of banned outfits and of those who are associated with them and take all measures to permanently cut off their sources of domestic and international financing. The Government should impose sanctions, including travel restrictions, on such outfits and individuals.


Sign the Petition:
Petition · Pakistan: Minimum Common Agenda Against Violence in Name of Religion · Change.org
https://www.change.org/p/pakistan-minimum-common-agenda-against-violence-in-name-of-religion