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But to put things in perspective, I would like to invite readers to imagine that a group of Christians asked for approval to build a church close to the site of an iconic building in Pakistan some of their fellow-believers had destroyed, killing thousands. How would we have responded?

Actually, this scenario is so implausible as to be practically meaningless. The sad reality is that non-Muslims in Pakistan live on sufferance, and it would be unthinkable for them to even dream of expanding their places of worship, let alone constructing new ones. A few years ago, I recall writing about the trials and tribulations of Christians trying to build a church in Islamabad despite having received official permission. They were bullied by a local mullah, and found no support from the city administration. Since then, things have got worse for the minorities.

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