WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a bi-partisan letter sent on July 3, 2013, members of Congress called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Government of Pakistan to prioritize the protection of Shi’a Muslims and other religious minorities and to take action against the militant groups responsible for the targeted violence.
Members of Congress encouraged proactive and vigorous prevention of violence and the arrest and prosecution of all those who commit or incite acts of violence against religious communities, noting their particular concern on the spike of targeted violence against Pakistan’s Shi’a Muslim community. The letter specified that police and security services have been unwilling or unable to take action against the groups behind these attacks. Members of Congress affirmed their commitment to work on this issue and assist the new government in taking the difficult political, economic and legal steps necessary to alleviate this problem.
“IMI and other members of Souls March have reached out to the Government of Pakistan for decades with neither changes nor any accountability as deadly attacks on Shia physicians and the community intensify,” said Sarwat Hussain, Global President of New Jersey headquartered Imamia Medics International. “A large number of members of Congress share the concerns of Shia Muslims regarding the increasing anti-Shia violence in Pakistan and want to see the Pakistani Government be more engaged in bringing people to justice.”
This letter is the direct result of meetings held with members of Congress both in Washington, DC, and across districts by representatives of Souls March to draw attention to the rise of targeted anti-Shia violence in Pakistan. “This bi-partisan letter not only is a strong statement against the violence in Pakistan but also showcases American Shia Muslim grassroots advocacy that UMAA Advocacy is happy to be a part of,” said Rahat Husain, Director of Maryland based UMAA Advocacy.
“Addressing the increased anti-Shia violence in Pakistan is not just an issue important to those here in Chicago, but across the country,” said Maulana Saiyed Mehboob Mehdi Abidi Al Najafi of IEC Husaini Chicago.
“Various organizations in Houston are working together to address this pressing concern,” said Mohammad Hosain, Houston community leader and activist. “We will continue to work through Souls March in Houston, DC and in districts across the US to ensure awareness of this critical issue and action to prevent further loss.”
View letter: http://bit.ly/11uqMV5
Background: Souls March is a US based coalition of North American organizations united against the targeted killing of Shia Muslims in Pakistan. This platform brought together over 3,000 people of conscience on December 7, 2012, in New York City for the 10,000 Souls March (endorsed by more than 130 organizations and academics) to protest the targeted killing of Shia Muslims in Pakistan followed by a national Shia Summit on anti-Shia violence this March.