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October 7, 2015

‘Minorities will be given jobs as per the law’


October 7, 2015

Sindh Minister for Minorities’ Affairs Gyan Chand Esrani on Wednesday vowed to ensure that minorities were given government jobs, under the five percent quota fixed for them, in accordance with the bill passed over five years ago.
He also claimed the government would induct 2,000 people of differing religious faiths in the police department.
Presiding over a roundtable conference, organised by the Sindh Rural Partners Organisation (SRPO), the minister acknowledged the non-implementation of the bill.
“In some departments, minorities had a mere representation of a percent, while in others they accounted for 10 percent of the department’s workforce.” Esrani added.
He said the prime responsibility to ensure protection of religious minorities lay with the government.
Appreciating the media’s role over sensitising the public with respect to the rights of minority communities, the minister also lauded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for their vital contributions on minorities’ issues.
Necessary changes in the provincial curriculum were promised to be brought about, besides installation of closed-circuit cameras at around 650 worship places in Sindh; a complaint registration cell was also said to be in the process of being set up.
Speaking of the provincial government’s efforts, done for the betterment of the minority communities, the minister informed that grants and aids for scholarships were being provided to them. The government also provides assistance in payments of dowries in marriages, the minister claimed.
Esrani added that walls around graveyards allocated for Bheel and Kohli communities, in Tharparkar, would also be built to fend off the land mafia.
However, according to the minister there has been a considerable drop in cases of kidnappings of Hindu community members and that those migrating were doing so out of fear, but of their own will.
Responding to a question with respect to

registration of all minority community members in the province, he said the government was looking over the matter, however, he said the Bheel and Kohli communities were often missed out by Nadra officials since they migrate to barrage areas during drought.
Member provincial assembly (MPA) of the Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) Nand Kumar Golkani, said the media could play a massive role in highlighting the Minority Rights Bill and another on forced conversions – they are to be tabled in the next assembly session.
Also a PML-F MPA, Nusrat Saher Abbasi said forced conversions of minority community members was one issue which was never properly highlighted by minority representatives sitting in the assemblies. She called for passing minority bills with consensus instead of weightage.
SPRO Executive Director Zahida Detho drew the participants’ attention towards minority members often working as bonded labour, specially in the interior of Sindh. “They were usually on the behest of the land owner, who decides how much and which facilities to be provided to them.”
Zahida said the plight of minority communities had worsened since 72 cases of forced conversion and marriages had been reported only in Sindh.

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