Saturday December 04, 2021

Govt urged to ensure relief assistance to minorities

April 19, 2020

Islamabad : While every segment of the society is feeling the brunt of spread of Coronavirus pandemic, particularly the financial burden because of the on-going ‘lock down’, the minority communities of the country are feeling more vulnerable, at greater risk because of continued exposure and the financial crunch they have been hit hard with.

Chairman of the Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL), Sajid Ishaq, while talking to ‘The News’, said the minority communities, especially the poor Christians, are getting more and more frustrated.

He urged the government to ensure that the relief being received from world over for helping provide relief to the people in wake of the ‘lockdown’ should also reach the members of minority communities without any discrimination.

“There are so many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and institutions, which are working in collaboration with the government agencies to fan out the positive impact of reaching people in need of relief in these testing times.

“It would be wise on part of the government, both federal as well as provincial, to engage such NGOs and institutions which are working with the minority communities all over the country. This step would result in a highly positive impact and create a sense of care and comfort among the minority communities of Pakistan,” Sajid Ishaq said.

He said that the World Bank has issued a grant of $200 million to the government of Pakistan under its Coronavirus Response Effectiveness Project.

“Keeping in view the growing sense of restlessness among the minority communities, it would be a very pragmatic step on part of the government to take the representatives of the minority institutions and the NGOs working with the minority communities on board and launch a specific relief operation to help minority communities all over the country,” the PIL Chairman said.

He suggested that a 5 per cent quota out of the relief goods and money being received in this respect should be set aside for the minority communities, which should be distributed by the government institutions in coordination with the minority led institutions and NGOs.

He said that it is clear that the minority communities do not trust the Ministries of Minority Affairs at federal and provincial levels. As such, the government, whether through the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) or any other state institution entrusted with the task to provide relief to the people impacted by ‘lockdown’ engage with the minority led institutions and NGOs to reach out to the minority communities and provide them relief as is being provided to other segments of the society,” Sajid Ishaq said.