LAHORE:The reserved quota for minorities without any implementation mechanism is a futile effort to ensure equality of citizenship and opportunities.
Civil society organisations expressed these views in a one-day conference titled “collective effort for advancing diversity” on the eve of National Minorities Day that is being observed today (Tuesday).
The Bishop of Faisalabad Rt Rev Joseph Indrias Rehmat was the chief guest and the event was presided over by Dr Rizwanullah Kokab. The speakers included Naseem Anthony, Dr Najma Afzal, Hamid Yaseen, Amna Ehsan, Farzana Chaudhry, and other representatives of civil society organisations.
Rt Rev Joseph Indrias Rehmat, Bishop of Faisalabad, said, “disparities in rights in policies andlaws can never ensure equal status and treatment, therefore, the policymakers must ensure equality of citizenshipandopportunities by acknowledging distinct identities of diverse groups.”
Dr Rizwanullah Kokab of GCUF said, “Pakistan is a land of diverse cultures and traditions, thus the statutes and laws with specific religious preference will not ensure national unity.“ Naseem Anthony said, “Equality of citizenship and opportunities demands concerted effort from decision-makers - introducing laws and policies with efficient implementation machinery to protect the minorities in a holistic manner.”
Rev Fr Khalid Rasheed Asi, Catholic Priest, said, “The minorities in Pakistan are still struggling to protect their distinct identity and striving to find their due space in the society.