A 10-member German parliamentary delegation headed by MP Ute KOCZY called on Federal Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, here on Saturday. The two sides discussed matters of mutual interest and possibilities of further co-operation between Germany and Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhatti said Germany is one of the important trade partners of Pakistani and bilateral co-operation between the two countries is increasing at different levels. German companies operating in Pakistan are increasing in number since 2010. He thanked the delegation for Germany’s aid for flood affectees, saying the two countries have traditions of friendly, good and amicable relations.
The minister further said interfaith harmony and inter-religious dialogues are instruments to counter trend of terrorism and extremism. He said sustainability of democracy could ensure rights of minorities, women and other marginalized communities, adding, “We are struggling to promote religious freedom, human dignity and rights for all.” He briefed the delegation of the steps taken by government to uplift and empower minorities in Pakistan.
Shahbaz Bhatti is Catholic (he converted when he was child) and wants to fight the blasphemy law. Anyway, I think that his appointment was more a “publicity” thing than something much more profound. I really don’t understand him: he really can’t challenge the existence of the blasphemy law and I don’t think Catholics’ situation (or any other non-Muslim minority) has improved since his appointment.