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About Pakistan

Population: 187 831 555 estimated
Size: 803,940 sq km (three times the size of the UK)
Capital: Islamabad
Main language: Urdu
Muslim: 95%
Christian: 3%
Other minorities: 2%

Pakistan, divided into East and West sections, was founded in 1947 as a Muslim homeland for Muslims by the Quaid e Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah who left India. In 1971, Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, gained independence after a nine-month civil war.

The constitution of Pakistan establishes Islam as the state religion, and provides all its citizens the right to profess, practice and propagate their religion subject to law, public order, and morality. The constitution limits the political rights of Pakistan’s non-Muslims, and only Muslims are allowed to become the President or the Prime Minister.

Today’s Pakistan is a poor and populous country, suffering from internal political disputes, lack of foreign investment, and costly confrontations with India.

A culture of violence and corruption leaves religious minorities, especially Christians very vulnerable. Islamic fanatics who commit terrible atrocities to Christians and Christian communitiesare rarely prosecuted or punished.

Often Christians in Pakistan aretreated like ‘second class’ citizens. They have limited political and civic rights and live under fear of discrimination and even of imprisonment under the auspices of the country’s ill-drafted 295C Blasphemy law.

Right now, CLAAS is campaigning for the abolishment of the Blasphemy law and other discriminatory laws,policies and practices.

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