Wednesday September 27, 2023

Call to protect minority rights

By Our Correspondent
August 11, 2018

LAHORE: An NGO organised a convention on “Minorities’ rights: Moving beyond promises and assurances” to mark national minorities’ day, here on Friday.

Speaking on the occasion, Bishop Alexander John Malik said, “I have no political allegiances, only Pakistan. Those who deny minorities’ rights do not understand the vision of Quaid-e-Azam for Pakistan, and we will oppose them no matter whosoever they may be.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s leader Ejaz Chaudhry said, “As Muslims are in majority in Pakistan it is our responsibility to look after and protect minorities. Everyone should be allowed to practice their beliefs. We will enforce the letter of the law with respect to protection of minorities.

Lord Mayor Col (R) Mubashir Javed said, “Our society has been intoxicated with hatred and extremism. We must educate people and arrest and punish those who have destroyed Pakistan.”

Barrister Aamir Hassan said, “We need to build a society where there is no room for discrimination, and there should be no bar on minorities to hold top public offices.” Ameerul Azeem said, “In his 11th August speech, the Quaid declared protection of minorities a distinct duty of the state and spoke of ending discriminatory social practice.”

The PTI representative Waleed Iqbal said, “Allama Iqbal also believed that minorities should be given all political, economic rights in a state. We will enact structural reforms to establish national commission for minorities followed by provincial commissions. People can hold us answerable for promises we made in manifesto."

Naveed Aamir Jeeva of PPP said, “Minorities in Pakistan have proven their loyalty to country, in every instance of hardship in Pakistan, its minorities have gone above and beyond their call of duty.”

Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Netherlands, Josephine Frantzen said, “Pakistan is signatory to various international treaties which call for citizens’ rights without discrimination. Let’s join hands in realising equal opportunities and rights for all."

The participants of the convention appreciated the government for observing 11th August as National Minorities’ Day. This measure symbolises the vision of Quaid-e-Azam presented in his inaugural address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in 1947, they said.

message: The International Minorities Day is being observed throughout the world on August 11 (today), including Pakistan. In his message, provincial caretaker minister for Human Rights and Minorities Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq has said the objective of observing this day is to highlight the contribution, services and sacrifices made by the minority communities in the nation-building.

The minister pledged to protect the rights of minorities in Pakistan. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that every Pakistani citizen lives in peace and with dignity, he added.

The minister said that Quaid-e-Azam’s dream of the country was based on equality of citizens. He said the government was fully aware of the fact that a major part of minority population is less privileged. Therefore, special and effective measures are needed for inclusive empowerment of minorities and to mainstream them as responsible and patriotic citizens, he concluded.