The traditional threats and discrimination faced by members of the minority and vulnerable communities in Pakistan have steadily aggravated in the last few years in conjunction with militancy, growing intolerance and the occupation of Pakistan by violent extremists. That has left these communities feeling acutely threatened by the growing violence and hate directed against them. The factors for a rise in excesses against these communities include not only the advance of militants and religious extremist elements but also the government’s failure to take effective steps to protect the basic human rights of members of minority and vulnerable communities.

There were few positive developments in Pakistan in the year 2010 with regard to the freedom of minorities and all indications suggested that there will be even worse times ahead. Rhetoric about empowerment and protection of religious minorities in the country abounded but little was done in practical terms to achieve that. Efforts for fostering interfaith harmony, tolerance and peaceful coexistence did not seem to be a priority.

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