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‘Need to set up minority rights commissions at national, provincial level’

AFP

KARACHI: There is need to increase the protection and promotion of rights of expression, assembly, association and thought, creation of enabling environment by bringing policy and legislative effective advocacy and lobbying for the establishment of ‘Minority Rights Commissions at National and Provincial’ level.
The speakers at a seminar organised by South Asia Partnership Pakistan discussed advocacy campaign and lobbying with political parties for ‘Political Participation of Minorities’ in mainstream politics especially at local bodies.
Lal Malhi Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member National Assembly said force conversion issues highly promoted in Sindh by religious forces.
We have no law, which protect the force marriage and conversion in Pakistan. There is poor legislation. PTI has take initiative to introduce the force marriage and conversion in parliament in coming days.
Minority people have threatened through temple burning. We have to change the behaviours of people about religious communities. He said blasphemy law should protect all religions. Minorities cannot contest on general seats as we have only reserved seats.
Hindu people only form Panchaiat system. Schedule cast are excluded from planning and development. Interfaith harmony is only sharing about hajj issues in Pakistan.
Bashir Jan of Awami National Party said we were facing the issues of extremism and not only minorities we all citizen of Pakistan were facing. It is critical situation of Pakistan. There many mosques are targeted while issues relating to minorities in Sindh and elsewhere in Pakistan were also complicated.
Khahalas Kohistani PML-N said still we have not any discrimination in needs of people. Water crises and electricity crises are facing equally. Government has not writ for resolving the issues. We cannot move to northern Sindh to southern Sindh. We have to take collective efforts and resolve the issues in Sindh. Governance issues exist. We have lacking of leadership that will come to reduce the issues in Pakistan.
Dr Lal Chand of Pakistan Peoples Party said the ruling party and all political parties were taking collective efforts for resolving the issues of minorities in Pakistan.
Why parliamentarians are responsible for legislation in Pakistan. We are not interested to hear word of minority in Pakistan. Some forces are existed who did not want see Pakistan as state.
We are living with brotherhood, sympathy and living with peace and social harmony. Some farces are threatening all religions in Pakistan and Christians, Muslims and Hindu worship places are not secured.
Karamat Ali of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research said democracy was the solution of such kind of issues. The fascism is also created in Pakistan. India is also facing this kind of issues. They are in same practices and Muslims are as minority in India. The schedule cast is facing the issues in India. Brihaman are also main stakeholders and they are violating the rights of citizens in India.
Human rights activist Noreen said government should implement the pro minorities laws and provide security at their workshop place, freedom of movement, freedom of expression and freedom of religion and freedom of association in Pakistan.
Expert Rochi Ram said force marriage and conversion should stop and district level committee should be established.
M Parkash advocate said Hindu marriage Bill was still in process. There is need to implementation Hindu marriage act.
Dr Jaipal Chharia of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said, “Pakistan was secular state not Islamic state”. The speech of Quaid Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah speaks all people are equal in this state and you are free to go mosque, mandir and other worship places.
Kalpina Devi advocate and expert on human rights said there was alarming situation for religious minorities, worship places were not secures and series of incidents conducted. She said Sindh was soil of peace and diversity but religious forces and influential have divided people in the name of religion.
Ravi Devani said Hindu communities were facing issues of ransom, kidnapping, force marriage and conversion. Blasphemy law should be implemented at all level according the spirit of law in Pakistan.  Petamber Shehwani former member Sindh Assembly said minorities’ issues could not be resolved without legislation in Pakistan.
Ms Shahnaz Sheedi of South Asia Partnership (SAP) Pakistan said SAP was working for the last 25 years for the promotion and protection of the rights of marginalised sections of society. She said minorities were socially excluded and they were not safe in Pakistan.

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