USCIRF ‘troubled’ by denial of food to Hindus, Christians in Pakistan

Imran Khan at UNGA
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at UNGA

New Delhi, April 14 The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said it is ”troubled” by the reports of food being denied to the people of Hindu and Christian communities in the country amid the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement issue on Monday, the USCIRF said it was troubled by the reports of food aid being denied to Hindus and Christians in Pakistan amid pandemic.

One of the USCIRF commissioners, Johnnie Moore warned that if the Imran Khan government continued with such policies of religious discrimination , Pakistan would add an additional crisis created by religious discrimination and inter-communal strife.”

Citing one of the examples of religious discrimination, the USCIRF said that in Karachi, the Saylani Welfare International Trust, a non-government organization set up to help the homeless and seasonal workers, has been refusing food aid to Hindus and Christians and providing it only Muslims.

The USCIRF is an independent federal government entity set up by the US Congress to monitor and report on religious freedom in the world.

Describing such actions “reprehensible”, the USCIRF commissioner Anurima Bhargava said: “As COVID-19 continues to spread, vulnerable communities within Pakistan are fighting hunger and to keep their families safe and healthy. Food aid must not be denied because of one’s faith.”

Recently, Imran said that the challenge facing governments in the developing world is to save people from dying of hunger while also trying to halt the spread of COVID-19. This is a monumental task laying before many countries.

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