Friday December 03, 2021

Shera praises National Council of Minorities draft bill

April 29, 2020

LONDON: UK-based Pakistani Christian community leaders have praised a draft bill for a National Council of Minorities, authored by Dr Shoaib Suddle of the one-man commission on minority rights, as an “excellent initiative” and gave a series of recommendations.

Writing to Suddle on behalf of the Christian leaders, former Rugby mayor James Shera suggested that instead of a council, there should be an independent commission “with real financial and political independence”, which “sitting as a court” is empowered to resolve matters involving injustices to minorities.

He recommended that the commission’s chair should be elected annually and should not be from the same community repeatedly; rather it should rotate between different religious communities.

He also suggested that a third of the commission’s members should be replaced each year, “to ensure regular renaissance of new ideas and suggestions”, and welcomed the proposal for one third of its members be female. “We would further suggest that either the chair or the vice-chair should always be a female.”

Finally, he suggested that one of the board members should be from the overseas minorities community, “to represent the views of the diaspora”.

The letter was also signed by Dr Peter David, Councillor Morris Johns, Dr Noshaba Khiljee, Qamar Shams, Canon Yaqub Masih, Reverend John Bosco, Bishop Nadeem Bhinder and Michael Massey.