Saturday July 21, 2018
Home Religion Pakistan&#821...

Pakistan’s “Last Jew” Fishel Benkhald Recognized by the Government

Benkhald was born in Karachi in 1987 to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother

0
//
80
Fishel Benkhald, the
Fishel Benkhald, the "last jew" of Pakistan.Twitter
Republish
Reprint
  • Fishel Benkhald is often referred as the “last jew” of Pakistan
  • He was originally registered as a Muslim
  • The government has finally recognized him as a Jew

Pakistan, June 30, 2017– Pakistani government has finally recognized its “last jew” when Fishel Benkhald was allowed by the interior ministry to change his religion from Islam to Judaism. It is an unprecedented move by the Muslim-majority nation.

Fishel, who is a 29-year-old outspoken activist was often referred to as the “last jew” of Pakistan, was originally registered as a Muslim.

Benkhald was born in Karachi in 1987 to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother. He was registered as Faisal in his national identity documents.After the death of his parents in 1990s, Benkhald identified himself as a Jew during the ongoing census.

After going through several rounds of appeals and several months of bureaucratic paperwork, the interior ministry finally approved his application seeking “conversion/correction” of his religion. In his appeal, Benkhald had insisted that his religion be changed on his national identity card.

ALSO READ: These 10 Points to Keep in Mind While Planning for Indian Pilgrimage Sites

Benkhald claims to be the only person of his faith in Pakistan. He is a resident of Karachi at the moment.

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) is not known for entertaining such requests commonly on the grounds that an applicant’s faith is different from the father’s. NADRA has not allowed members of the Ahmadi religious sect to proclaim themselves as Muslims so far.

Muslims have to sign an affidavit with NADRA that they are not Ahmadis or “Qadiyanis”.

Peter Jacob, who heads a faith-based organization in Lahore said, “It is a very sensitive issue where people have been killed either way.”

Benkhald thanked the interior ministry and NADRA for granting him the right to practice the religion of his choice in a telephonic conversation with The Express Tribune paper.

“I studied Islam in childhood. But I never practiced it as a religion.” Said Benkhald. He also added that he would consider the positive development in his case as a treat from Pakistani authorities for the upcoming Passover, a spring festival that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.

Despite Benkhald’s claim of being the “last jew”, NADRA is saying that there are 745 registered Jewish families in the nation.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly

0
Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India
Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India. flickr

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly while it was discussing an important issue.

“Such cynical attempts have failed in the past and do not find any resonance in this body,” Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, said on Monday.

He was replying to a reference to Kashmir made by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi during a debate on the Right to Protect People against crimes against humanity.

“While we are having this serious debate for the first time in a decade on an issue that is of importance to all of us, we have witnessed that one delegation has, yet again, misused this platform to make an unwarranted reference to the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Bayyapu said.

“I would like to place on record and reiterate that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. No amount of empty rhetoric from Pakistan will change this reality,” he added.

Lodhi had said that many of the victims of killings and “mass-blinding” are “in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir” and that they “have the further indignity of living under an illegal and alien occupation”.

Pakistan's Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi. flickr

“Against this backdrop, calls for accountability would invariably smack of double standards and selectivity, especially when egregious crimes including killings and mass-blinding are being committed in full view of the international community,” she said.

However, Lodhi also said: “At its core, the responsibility to protect, is not a license to intervene in external situations, but, is instead, a universal principle of ‘non-indifference’, in keeping with historical context and cultural norms of respective settings.”

Also read: Women-Driven Rickshaw Program Creating Sensation in Pakistan

“We should also be mindful that the notion of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ does not become a mere re-enactment of the discredited ‘humanitarian interventions’ of the past,” she added. (IANS)