The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is well known for it’s strict laws towards non-Muslims such as it’s popular blasphemy law, which carries a death penalty to anyone who criticizes Islam. Many activists complain that the blasphemy law is just another mechanism for the majority Muslim population to oppress and stoke fear in Pakistan’s religious minorities such as Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Ahmadis. However, there have been new reports exposing a new form of oppression masked in the form of affirmative action for Pakistan’s religious minorities.
Recent reports have highlighted that many public and private institutions in Pakistan that attempt to reserve jobs for underprivileged non-Muslim religious minorities. The latest example comes from Pakistan’s Punjab Institute of Cardiology Lahore announcement of vacancies. In the list of job vacancies, all jobs including the life operator, ward boy and security guards are open to all applicants. However, when you look at the ‘sanitary worker’ jobs for Males and Females, they only accept Non-Muslim applicants. Speaking to foreign human rights experts and labor lawyers, we were told that this is a form of direct oppression, racism and bigotry against the nation’s religious minorities, whole are mainly Hindu, Sikh, Ahmadi & Christian. You can see more details around the job vacancies here: http://www.jobs4pak.com/
The majority of local minorities fear speaking or reaching out to authorities as they feel nothing will happen. A Lahore-based Hindu man we spoke to named Ram Kumar (name changed to protect his identity) said that he wanted to leave Pakistan and travel to North America or India to find a normal job to support his two daughters and said it was too difficult to find a decent paying job once people find out you are not Muslim. Ram also mentioned that he lives in daily fear that his daughters will be kidnapped by local Muslim extremist groups.