Rare secular candidate in Pakistan hounded by angry mobs | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Rare secular candidate in Pakistan hounded by angry mobs

It began with a audience members asking Pakistani parliamentary candidate Jibran Nasir to declare his religion at a public forum, a request he politely refused on the grounds it is irrelevant.

Later, the mobs started showed up. In the past week, three of Nasir’s public meetings in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, have been disrupted by religious hardliners - shouting out and shoving his supporters.

Nasir, a human rights lawyer, is a rare breed in Pakistan: an avowedly secular, progressive candidate in the overwhelmingly Muslim country of 208 million, where most parties appeal to an Islamic vote bank.

His independent candidacy is in stark contrast to the prevailing mood of Pakistan’s campaign, which has seen the rise of new ultra-right Islamist parties campaigning on protecting draconian blasphemy laws and denouncing the persecuted Ahmadi sect.

Liberal and secular-minded Pakistanis say the sheer number of religious party candidates, combined with their ultra-conservative rhetoric, has already shifted the agenda in their direction.

Nasir aims to challenge the prevalent extremist discourse.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope this gentleman has his Kevlar undies on, 24/7: political assassinations are very commonplace in this country.

He appears to be a man who should have the chance to change the narrative in Pakistani politics; I fear, however, that he will not be allowed to do so, due to religious intolerance as political discorse, which is commonly what appears to be accepted in Pakistan today.

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