The situation is becoming increasingly grim for Pakistan's Christian population. Unimaginable fits of violence and acts of desecration against sacred lands barely begin to describe the horror and devastation that non-Muslims face in a nation that is becoming increasingly less tolerant. Last week, the Asia Times reported on two alleged instances that perfectly illustrate how the situation has devolved:
Christian tombs were recently desecrated and a young Christian woman was gang-raped for an entire night. In both cases, police refused to file a First Information Report, allowing the culprits to escape justice. These are examples of the ordinary violence visited upon Pakistan’s Christian minority.
The woman in question was a 29-year-old mother who was allegedly abducted by a Muslim co-worker, beaten and then violently raped. The most perplexing and infuriating part of her story is her quest for justice following the incident. According to accounts, despite her attempt to file a report, the police refused to help. Instead, they offered to assist the rapists in "cover[ing] their tracks." The Catholic Church is understandably perplexed and disgusted by these developments:
Fr Joseph Jamil, a Faisalabad priest, strongly condemned the anti-Christian violence. “The Church,” he said, “is closing monitoring the issue.”
“Landowners and extremists are actively involved against the Christian minority in Punjab,” he told AsiaNews. “Most attacks happen in the central part of the province.” The government, he said, should “take charge of the situation and defend the minority.”
According to the Star Tribune, anti-Christian violence has become so intense that it is ingrained in the nation's legal system. Anti-blasphemy laws are used to suppress the Christian minority. Additionally, well-known "Christian politicians and their defenders" are executed. In light of ongoing abuses, some critics claim that the United States needs to take a second look at how monies are allocated to countries like Pakistan.
Recently, the U.S. pledged $7.5 billion in aid to the Middle Eastern country. So far, it seems the Obama administration is being relatively careful in terms of the pace at which the funds are being allocated. Earlier in May, The New York Times reported:
...so inadequate is Pakistan’s civilian bureaucracy and so rife are United States fears of corruption in the government that American officials, constricted by layers of their own rules, have struggled to find safe places to actually invest the money available. Instead of polishing the tarnished image of America with a suspicious, even hostile, Pakistani public and government, the plan has resulted in bitterness and a sense of broken promises.
The alleged events discussed above and the general worry over abuses provides fodder to critics who would like to see stricter allocations of U.S. monies. What do you think? Should the U.S. limit finds if Pakistani officials continue to ignore human and religious rights violations?