Although Pakistan’s creation was based on religion yet theocratic state wasn’t wished-for, since most of the founding members were secular and progressive in their approach. But in later years, we have seen a gradual transformation towards a more radical and orthodox Islamic state. This destructive transformation has then jeopardized pacific co-existence and interfaith harmony and religious groups in minorities at perils.

Recently, US adds Pakistan to blacklist for religious freedom violations and said, “In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs”. Religious intolerance is real phenomena in Pakistan and it doesn’t have any long-term solution for obliterating this protracted menace. Arresting and killing terrorists will not solve the problem. What Pakistan needs to do is carry out a programme to de-radicalize and re-educate large segments of society. But more importantly it needs to ban institutional discrimination against minorities, especially the Pakistani Christians.

When Pakistan came into being, it had promised to safeguard everyone irrespective of their religious affiliations. The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah stated, “We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State”.

Today, Pakistan has population of 200 million people, belonging to different religions. But unfortunately, absence of interfaith harmony and pacific co-existence have unsympathetically affected the climate of peace and religious freedom. The minorities are facing so many challenges in their own country. Minority students are going through persecution and discrimination in the education system of Pakistan. Biased education policies, curricula and textbooks are developed and implemented, which contribute towards escalation of biases and ultimately violence against vulnerable segments of the society, particularly against religious minorities.

For Pakistan to curtail religious radicalism, extremism and violence, it has to revamp the madrassa system and also redesign its curricula. Expunging the biased contents with peace education internationally recommended contents, will help Pakistan to establish religious pluralism, prosperity and inclusive society.