Call for protecting minorities as per Constitution

Pakistan Press Foundation

MIRPURKHAS: Speakers at a programme have urged the government to ensure protection of minorities and give them rights as per the Constitution of Pakistan.

They were speaking at the launching ceremony of an ‘awareness action month’ on minority rights organised by the Sindh Rural Partners Organisation here on Thursday.

Speaking as the chief guest, former Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Shamim Ara Panhwar said education was the first condition to secure basic human rights.

She emphasised that scheduled castes should educate their youths so that they could learn about their fundamental rights. The PPP had been working to improve social conditions of the deprived people, including non-Muslims, she added.

She said minorities were the integral part of the country and they must have access to educational institutions.

Civil society activist Nasir Ali Panhwar said Sindh had interfaith harmony where Muslims and non-Muslims had been living together peacefully. He said extremisms could be tackled through Sufis’ message of peace and love.

He demanded that five per cent job quota for minorities be implemented.

Mr Panhwar said lower social status of minority communities also translated into their poor representation in the political system, which hindered their access to governance structures and their legislative needs also remained unaddressed.

Minority communities must understand that under the joint electorate system, parliamentarians elected from their area of residence were their political representatives responsible for their governance needs and accountable to them, just like members of the majority community.

Advocate Mola Bux Rahoo, advocate Santosh Kumar, comrade Mewan Kumar, Parsa Bheel, Qamaruddin Shaikh, advocate Nayara Noor, Ghulam Hyder Birahmani, Nisar Ahmed Pitafi, Shoaib Khaskheli, Jumman Meghwar, Nawaz Baloch and others also spoke at the seminar.

A play was also staged by Bhitai Arts Council on forced marriages while folk singer Liaqat Faqeer and Nazakat Faqeer presented Sufi music on this ocassion.