Preserving Equal Citizenship in Pakistan

Freedom of Religion or Belief
Islamabad Capital Territory, Balochistan, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh Provinces, Areas/Towns: Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi
Project Duration: 
01/01/2016 to 31/12/2018
European Commission (EC), Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), HOPE'87
Project Description: 

The project “Preserving Equal Citizenship in Pakistan" focuses on encouraging the formulation and adoption of a strategy on religious tolerance and its large-scale acceptance among youth in Pakistan. The project is co-financed by EuropeAid, ADC and HOPE’87.

Building on the success and the knowledge gained through previous projects in the region, the current one focuses on the formulation and adoption of a strategy on religious tolerance and its large-scale acceptance among youth in Pakistan. The intervention has been developed in close cooperation with the implementing partner FACES Pakistan and it’s vast network of CSOs working in this field.

The action is of a national nature and addresses the federal capital Islamabad and 4 provincial capitals Quetta, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi. Population in Pakistan is predominantly Muslim 96.28% including Sunni 82% (Deobandi, Barelvi, Ahl-e-Hadith) and Shiite 15%, 1.59% Christians (about 2.8 Mio), 1.6% Hindus, 0.25% from scheduled castes and 0.07% from other religions including Sikhs, Baha’i, Parsi and Ahmadi (Census on religion 2004). Religious minorities regularly experience discrimination and violence (304 reported incidents January–July 2014). Promotion of exclusive and sectarian interpretations of religion especially among youth by religious leaders, drive conflicts threatening stability and peace.

In this context the proposed action contributes to the implementation of the Supreme Court decision on the rights of non-Muslim citizens of 19 June 2014. In particular the action enhances and collaborates with measures taken by the Federal Government of Pakistan, to respond to the following orders of the Supreme Court - in paragraph 37 of the judgement (i) the Federal Government should constitute a taskforce assigned with developing a strategy of religious tolerance; and (iv) a National Council for minorities’ rights be constituted.

Therefore the three results are formulated as follows:

Result 1: A strategy of religious tolerance is available for adoption by the Federal Government

Result 2: Youth from different regligions/faiths show tolerance, reciprocal respect and promote a culture of peace towards each other

Result 3: Youth, political and religious leaders and local authorities jointly are able to positively influence local public and private initiatives and actions for religious tolerance.