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News Analysis |

The National Assembly engaged in a vehement debate on the deteriorating situation of minority rights in Pakistan and persistent encroachments upon their freedom. The House strongly condemned the Christian schoolboy’s lynching of last month in Vehari.

In order to nip this evil in the bud, a narrative has to be formulated by gathering all the stakeholders at one table

The issue was raised by MNA Khalil George on the floor of the house who called for the curriculum reform that could ‘reflect interfaith harmony’. The unfortunate incident occurred a month ago when a 17-year-old boy, Sheron Masih of Chak-461/EB lost his life due to the insularity of his class mates. He was beaten to death by his class mates for daring to drink water in the same glass as the other boys.

Read more: The Early history of Christianity and how it spread

The incident is not one of its kind, rather it adds to the pattern reflecting the intolerance prevailing in the society. “This mindset is fast becoming prevalent in our institutions and society, while the state has shut its eyes,” as opined by MNA, Shazia Marri.

NAP remains confined to countering this narrative rather than bringing a new one which stands at par with it and offers more appeal to the public

Asad Umer, a member from Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf voiced, “it is our responsibility to take care of this nation’s minorities”. “The real danger is this mindset that promotes violence in the society,” he added. In order to counter this social malaise, Umar called for strict action against the elements who promote it.

The issue also came under the notice of the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) who demanded a report regarding the issue from the concerned district police officer. The NCHR chairman, retired Justice Ali Nawaz Chowhan also criticized the school administration for not performing its duties in a rightful manner.

Read more: How Orientalism Pitted Hindus against Muslims in India?

The administration has also been criticized justifiably but working on these issues cannot eradicate the issues intrinsically

Taking strict action against the culprits have also been the demand in such cases. The administration has also been criticized justifiably but working on these issues cannot eradicate the issues intrinsically. The incident is not the first one if the record of intolerance is taken into consideration. A few months ago, there was another hair-raising incident of brutality, the likes of which are seen rarely, and that too was the fruit of intolerance which is taking roots in the society.

This time, it was a university student, Mishal Khan whose life was taken by his fellow students. The incident raised an alarm among the civil society and the masses of the country. It highlighted the direction where the society was heading to and it could become the precedent for many other issues.

Read more: The streets of intimidation

The issue was raised by MNA Khalil George on the floor of the house who called for the curriculum reform that could ‘reflect interfaith harmony

The resolution of the issue proposed by the MNA for bringing change in the school curriculum to reflect interfaith harmony can prove to be a step forwards to a tolerant society as it alludes towards pitting a narrative against an already existent one which promotes and justifies violence. This narrative is a high time need and has been recognized in the National Action Plan too.

However, NAP remains confined to countering this narrative rather than bringing a new one which stands at par with it and offers more appeal to the public. In order to nip this evil in the bud, a narrative has to be formulated by gathering all the stakeholders at one table.

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