Meeting On Minorities’ Issues: Political Parties Urged To Give Priority To Basic …

Published: August 21, 2014

Meeting On Minorities’ Issues: Political Parties Urged To Give Priority To Basic …, Members of non-Muslim communities, at consultative meeting on minorities’ issues called upon all political parties to give priority to basic human rights and freedom of expression in manifesto to ensure all rights to non-Muslim communities in country.

The meeting on “Penal Discussion with Political Parties on Religion, Freedom and Human Rights” organized by South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK) held here at local hotel on Wednesday. Notable speakers include Sardar Charan Jeet Singh, Harun Sarb Diyal, a chairman of All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement (APHRM), Abdul-Jalil Jan of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Mukhtar Bach, a provincial president of National Party, Bushra Gohar of ANP, Tariq Khan from QWP, PML-N provincial general secretary Rahmat Salam Khattak, PTI and PPP women activists.

Besides large number of Sikh, Hindu and representatives of different political parties participated in the meeting while that was part of the series of the activities regarding minorities’ rights. Shahida Shah from SAP-PK through her presentation highlighted ordeals of the non-Muslim communities in the country.

The participants rejected the commission formed by Federal Government for minorities, as there was no representation of minorities in it. They said all the citizens have availed equal rights under the constitution of the country, but minorities are not given their due rights, owing to keeping them out of consultation and policy making process.

The speakers demanded a separate electoral process in the upcoming elections whereby minorities could elect their representatives in parliament and provincial assemblies by ballot. They fully backed religious freedom and giving for constitutional rights to non-Muslim communities in the country. Both the minorities and Muslims apparently affected by terrorism and extremism, which also earned a bad name of Pakistan in the rest of the world, the participants observed. They highlighted the issues being faced by non-Muslim communities, particularly relating to quota in parliament, education and health sectors, economic deprivation and others.

The panellists strongly supported the demand of minorities to give them all due rights, especially freedom to non-Muslims residing in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and in settled areas to perform their religious obligations in a free manner. They also urged the Federal and provincial government to make amendments in laws, relating inheritance and marriage with consultation of representatives of minorities, and asked to give possession right of property of non-Muslims in Khyber-Pakhtunkwha (KP) in order to live life according to the constitution of the country.

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