Pakistan’s foreign minister compared allegations of Christian persecution to ‘individual incidents’ comparable to knife crime in the United Kingdom. (The Guardian)
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, speaking during a visit to Brussels, said reports of religious minorities being targeted in Pakistan did not constitute a trend and the recent claims of Christian persecution were an example of “western interests” that “want to paint Pakistan in a particular way”.
His comments follow the international outcry sparked by the case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row on a charge of blasphemy, which was later overturned, before being allowed to leave for Canada.
Asked about reports of Pakistan’s 2.5 million Christians being attacked or facing persecution under the country’s blasphemy laws, Qureshi said: “You can’t say this is a trend, no. Individual incidents can be quoted anywhere, [of] minorities being mistreated here, in Europe, in Britain.”
He pointed to the UK’s own problems after the fatal stabbings of four people in four days put London’s knife crime in the international spotlight last week.