Minorities and hollow slogans

 

This refers to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s press statement at the occasion of Minorities Day on August 11. He said that it was on this day in 1947 when Quaid-e-Azam in his historic address to the Constituent Assembly outlined the contours of a modern and tolerant Pakistan in which people of all faiths would have equal rights and opportunities. He said the vision of a tolerant and modern Pakistan was also embodied in the consensus Constitution of 1973.

 

The worthy Prime Minister also quoted the Father of the Nation’s August 11, 1947’s historic address in which the Quaid assured equal rights and opportunities to all the citizens of all faiths. He said rights of all citizens in Pakistan were equal and he would be ensuring as a citizen and as a state to accord equal treatment to all the citizens irrespective of their religion, caste and creed. In this connection, the Prime Minister said the government was aware of its responsibility to protect the rights of minorities at all costs. He further said the government had taken a number of steps for the welfare of minorities by allocating five percent quota in jobs for them at the federal level, besides allocating seats in the Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies according to their population ratio.

 

To keep the record straight, it was not his party PML-N’s government to allocate five percent quota in jobs as well as seats in the Senate but PPPP’s government of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani. As regards seats in National and Provincial Assemblies according to Minorities population ratio is also incorrect as Minorities seats are not increased in spite of repeated requests and several promises of PPPP and PML-N’s governments.

 

Minorities want concrete steps now instead of hollow slogans. For this purpose as a first step the Government should amend present constitution which barred the Non-Muslim citizens to become Prime Minister and President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to prove their claims of equal treatment to all the citizens irrespective of their religion, caste and creed.

 

EMMANUEL YOUSAF

Lahore

 




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