Are minorities an issue? No- the issue is to report about minorities
Journalist received death threat over religious minorities reporting
As founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah said in his 11 August Speech about minorities:
“Equality of humankind, Non-Muslims will be treated like brothers and sisters, Religious minorities must be protected and safeguarded to the fullest extent, minorities will be treated with justice, equality, fair play, toleration and even with generosity, caste discrimination will not be practiced and minorities will be equal citizens in every respect”
According to World Press Freedom Index 2017 conducted by Reporters without Borders (RSF) Pakistan have been ranked on 139th out of 180 number in press freedom index. Media freedom and journalistic community targeted by Islamist organizations, extremist groups and sometime law enforcement agencies. Pakistan is an Islamic state, where too many issue in society are due to religious extremism and religious minorities as well. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists Pakistan is fourth deadliest country for journalists where 60 journalists and media worker got killed since 1990.
A recent incident happened with Rana Tanveer, a senior journalist associated with one of the leading media organization (Express Media Group), received death threat reporting over religious minorities (Ahmadi Community) at his home Lahore Pakistan. In a historical perceptive, according to Pakistan’s constitution amendment of 1974 declared Qadianis as a non-Muslim minority during the regime of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. In Pakistan when someone is being labelled as a supporter or from Ahmadi community group and talk about it that means ultimate death in Pakistan. Another incident happened in university students brutally killed one of their classmate over allegation of blasphemy.
According to the close source (name not being mentioned due to risk factor) Mr. Tanveer recently shifted to his current residents. On 30th May 2017 at 11 am when he came out for his office from rented house at Lahore, Pakistan, his main door was painted with these words “Qadiani Nawaz Rana Tanveer Kafir Wajib ul Qatal” (Ahmadi supporter is a non-believer who deserves to be killed) he and his landlord, both received unknown calls and said he is “enemy of Islam”.
It is pertinent to mention here that it is not the first threat to him. In 2013, he received a threatening letter at his office address. It was also reported by “State of Human Rights in 2013”, the annual report published by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on its 115 page. Some fanatics used to make threatening calls to him and abusing him. Four months back, someone called to his house-lord asking him about Tanveer and advising him to get him out of his house accusing him for being “enemy of Islam”. This sentence is enough to kill anyone in Pakistan regardless his services, profession and designation. With this slogan who killed whom and why nobody knows and no inquires.
This recent threat is alarming for whole journalistic community in Pakistan who report about religious extremism, terrorism, human rights and religious minorities which made worried by reaching to someone house. They are trying to suppress the voices of those who speak truth. This stress especially when progressive voices are being silenced in the country and law enforcing agencies are unable or not willing to establish rule of law. Pakistan in a situation where journalists continuously doing their professional duties under constant threat. Journalists are proactive in highlighting issues revolving religion and victimization of religious minorities.