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Speakers call for protection of minorities’ rights

Speakers call for protection of minorities’ rights

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a dialogue have urged the government to make effective legislation for ensuring solution to the problems of minorities relating to marriage, divorce, inheritance and other rights.

They also called for expediting work on ‘the minorities property protection bill’ to remove a sense of deprivation among them. The dialogue titled ‘religious freedom and minorities rights’ was arranged under the aegis of South Asia Partnership of Pakistan (SAP-PK) at a local hotel here on Wednesday.

Regional programme coordinator Nusrat Ara, journalist Shamim Shahid, Rahmatullah Khan and others highlighted issues being faced by the minorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They said that due to absence of rules and regulations related to birth, death and marriage certificates for minorities, the non-Muslim community was facing numerous problems.

“The members of non-Muslim community are also facing difficulties in getting computerised national identity card. They have been permanently living in tribal region, but are dealt as migrated non-Muslims,” they lamented. 

The speakers said that the present three per cent quota was not enough to fulfil the need of the minorities. They said that children of the minority communities were also getting education like Muslims, but due to less quota they were often deprived of taking admission in colleges and universities and job as well. 

The participants called for review of the education policy and syllabus, adding that if any government facility of health and vocational training for Muslims was funded through Zakat, provision of alternative source for non-Muslims be made available to these institutions so that the minorities could feel free in getting education, jobs and other facilities. 

They said that the quota for minorities in jobs, educational institutions and various schemes of the government be increased in proportion to their population in the province. The mediapersons on the occasion assured the minorities of their help in raising voice for their rights and conveying their concerns to the government authorities.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2015

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