London – Toaha Qureshi MBE, Chairman FIRD, meets with Bishop Michael Nazir Ali to discuss minority rights in Pakistan, including controversial blasphemy law abuses, as well as the current security situation it faces with the looming threat from terrorism. FIRD Chairman discussed the proposal of linking the leaders of various faiths to discuss ways that ensure religion is not misused and that human rights of individuals are protected. He went on to say that it is essential to share the best practices of minorities, such as Pakistanis living in the UK, to ensure that people do not impose self exclusion upon themselves. This is one of the main barriers of success for minorities and was also shared with Christian leadership on their visit to Oxford, headed by Bishop Azariah (Head, Church of Pakistan) to meet with FIRD.
Bishop Ali echoed the idea, calling for the CII leadership to be involved, in particular, for the blasphemy laws. He appreciated work carried out by FIRD in furthering the ties between Pakistan and the UK on matters of religion in particular. He went on to say that there are a number of different religions in Pakistan that are living together and there is a need for all to come together. During the meeting, Umar Mahmood was also present to brief on FIRD’s support to minorities, including support to interfaith harmony and engaging with Pakistanis both at home and overseas.