ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 11th Augst,2016) : Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab said Thursday the government was making solid measures to ensure rights of the minorities in line with Constitution and no compromise would be made in this regard. Concluding debate in the National Assembly on Minority Day, the minister said this day should be observed in four provinces including FATA, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir with renewed commitment to protect rights of minority in line with vision of father of nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Appreciating role of the minorities for the socio-economic development of the country, he said, we were united and had given collective response to every challenge the country faced in the past, be it earthquake or terrorism incidents. He said the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif believed that minority had equal rights and several measures being made for their uplift. He said if any bill was introduced regarding education for minority would be welcomed as part of policy to provide all basic facilities of life to citizen of the country including minority.
Minority members from both sides of the Divide underlined the need for making tangible measures to ensure harmony and tolerance in the society. They said the government had taken a number of initiatives in accordance with Constitution of the country for their welfare, however, they were of the views that more measures were needed to successfully face the challenges. Besides increasing number of minority seats in the National Assembly, they said direct election should be held for minority seat of the National Assembly and income earned from Evacuee property should be spent on welfare of Sikh and Hindu communities in the country.
Referring to Muhammad Ali Jinnah speech to the Constituent Assembly in 1947, Khalil Jorge said father of the nation laid emphasize on the importance of the minority. Lal Chand said there was need to promote religious harmony, cultural activities and education for children of minority. Tariq C Qaiser said Christian community had great role in creation of Pakistan, adding their role in socio-economic development in subsequent years could not be ignored.
Asia Nasir said that despite reservations the Ministry for Minority Affairs was devolved to the provinces as a result of 18th Amendment, thus she added a separate ministry should be set up at the Federal level to look after minority affairs. Captain (R) Safdar said a missionary hospital had been functioning in Qalandarbad KPK and its doctors were serving masses for the last 50 years, adding the House should evolve consensus to grant them five year visa or grant them nationality if they desired so.