Revisting Collective Capabilities, Agency & Freedom Of Pakistani Christians
Author: Rohail Riaz


The research argues that the Christian minority who reside in Islamabad and Lahore are facing a lot of societal problems. This includes discrimination, biases, social exclusion, un-freedom, the issue of non- acceptance in society, and false blasphemy accusations. This leads to the incapability of converting the capabilities of the Christian minority into a functioning tool in society.

This research looks into the existing societal issues and focuses to analyze how the Christian community of Lahore and Islamabad are suffering from this and what measures can be taken to eradicate societal issues and improve the livelihood of the Christian community across the country. The objectives of this research which are used to conduct research are to map Christian communities residing in the sampled locales Lahore and Islamabad, to examine and to analyze their sources of livelihood, the seasonality of their occupation in the selected locales, to analyze structural factors resisting their options of employability, survivability, economic entitlement, and agency, and indigenize and devise framework or model of development based on Sen’s concepts (capability, functioning, agency, freedom, and entitlements) for the communities socio-economic uplift. To cater to these objectives, a participatory methodology is used in my research in which sub-locales of Lahore and Islamabad have been selected. This includes the H9 slum, G7 slum, and F6 slum of Islamabad along with this Youhanabad, Model Town, and Bahar Colony of Lahore was selected for collecting the data. Qualitative data techniques, with content analysis, Observations, semi-structured and unstructured interviews, have been used with documented analysis to get the result.

The finding shows that existing societal issues across the country and particularly in rural areas create challenges for the Christian community which is leading to the social exclusion of both and depriving them of socio-economic opportunities. As Sen speaks about capability, the people of the selected locales do have capabilities as they are educated and capable. But the problem is that this research discovers that Christians in Pakistan are not able to get their rights neither opportunities to occupy jobs even after being capable. Not only Christian males are subjected to structural and cultural violence and women are victims of harassment and misbehavior. The fact of discrimination and inequality is what led to the non- functioning of the capabilities existing in the communities which raises the question of entitlement for these communities not being equal to the majority.

In the end, this research makes suggestions and recommendations to help policymakers and the government to improve the social status of the Christian community in Pakistan. The state should intervene in this issue. It should intervene in such a way that the societal issues like discrimination should be eradicated from the society. Secondly, the distribution of rights should be based on equality. Thirdly freedom of being and doing, write and speech, and freedom of religious acts should be provided at a state level to the minority of these areas.

Meta Data

Keywords : Achievement, Capability, Discrimination, Entitlement, Freedom, Functioning, Injustice, Non-acceptance, Poverty, Social Exclusion, Violence
Supervisor: Fahd Zulfiqar

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