Why do we have a “religion box” on our passport anyway? DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE
The National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) refusal to change MPA Rana Mahmood’s religion from “Islam” to “Christianity” has many boxed in.
A plethora of questions have arisen. Is this a human rights violation? Will Mahmood be considered an apostate if his records were to reflect that he left Islam? How can you change someone’s faith with a stroke of a pen?
But no one is talking about the real question: Why do we have a “religion box” on our legal documents anyway?
Say that and you essentially open Pandora’s Box. After all, in a 97% Muslim majority country, what good can come out of knowing someone’s religion? What are we really trying to achieve except demonising, harassing, and isolating the 3% of Pakistan’s Hindu, Ahmadi, Christian and other minorities who have made equal if not more sacrifices for the creation and preservation of Pakistan?