A school teacher in a primary school in Attock has been suspended for beating a Christian student, for drinking water from a handpump despite being non-muslim.
Discriminating Against Christian Student
According to a tweet shared by Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Sharjeel Maseeh student of four class at Government Primary School, Dhok Fateh, Attock was beaten and verbally abused. The only sin of the student was that he was a Christian who drank water from a hand pump and rendered it putrid.
Acted on this complaint of such horrific discrimination against a child. Teacher has been suspended today & dept inquiry set up before final action, after District Education Officer visited concerned school in Attock & met students & teachers. Even one such case is one too many. pic.twitter.com/MhI2hvRCYs
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) October 22, 2018
The forwarded WhatsApp message that Human Rights Minister shared also stated that teacher verbally abused Sharjeel by saying him that you are a Christian and you can’t get the education in a government school.
The WhatsApp message also stated that school administration had violated Article 27 of Pakistan’s Constitution and a case should be filed against school administration under section 298.
Sharjeel Masih’s family had requested Chief Justice of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chief Minister of Pakistan to take notice of the incident.
Twitterati Praising Shireen Mizari
Twitterati praised the Human Rights Minister’s quick action on the complaint of discrimination against a student. Many of them were hopeful that they are finally in a Pakistan where human rights are being prioritized over bigotry.
Few users also asked why authorities only relied on suspending the teacher and why didn’t try her for committing a hate crime.
Justice for Kinza
Christian student’s case is not the only one to which the Minister of Human Rights has responded. She also took acted to an incident of child slavery, where a girl named Kinza was said to have faced physical torture. According to media reports, Kinza who was a minor worker has allegedly tortured the husband of a female army officer.
A police team has been sent to Sumandri to bring back the child and her parents. After Medical examination an FiR will be registered. Army has also been informed as the suspect is an Army doctor. We are keeping a close eye to ensure justice for the little girl https://t.co/Agt6Xn3soh
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) October 20, 2018
Can It Help End Religious Bigotry
It is a good omen that the Human Right Minister of Pakistan has quickly responded to offer justice to a Christian student. But, one can use such selective events to make a case for whether the Pakistani government is working for ending religious discrimination and bigotry from institutions.
So far, the PTI government has shown its weakness in responding to the threats of fierce religious clerics. The recent example is the removal of Atif Mian for Economic Advisory Council only because he was Qadyani and not a Muslim according to the country’s law. A government which is unable to prioritize merit over religious beliefs can’t be trusted for taking measures for the eradication of rampant bigotry in society.