Law Makers Vow To Promote Minorities’ Rights
The law makers and others shared ideas and discussed ways to promote interfaith harmony in the province.
LAHORE: (Urdu Point/Paksitan Point News-Feb 14th, 2020) Creating interfaith harmony in the society is the foremost priority of the government and it is doing its best to achieve this objective. The members of the Punjab Assembly are on-board on this initiative and committed to support the proposed interfaith harmony policy for Punjab province. This was stated by Ijaz Alam Augustine, Minister for Human Rights, Minorities' Affairs and Interfaith Harmony at a consultative session with MPAs from Punjab. The participants discussed ways to promote interfaith harmony in the province, make it safe from hate and violence and give space to followers of different religions living here.
The consultation, organised jointly by the Youth Development Foundation (YDF) and the ministry, aimed at seeking and compiling suggestions for incorporation into the proposed inter faith policy for Punjab. The Federal government devolved Ministry of Interfaith Harmony to provincial administrative units in April 2019 and till date Punjab government has not come up with any concrete policy/guidelines to run the newly devolved ministry.
Shahid Rehmat, executive director, YDF said it was a great development that MPAs from different parties and both the opposition and the treasury benches had joined their heads and decided to find solutions to the conflicts and violence caused due to intolerance and discrimination on religious grounds. He shared it with the participants that the consultation was one of the 12 scheduled with different stakeholders including parliamentarians, lawyers, academics, media personnel, religious leaders etc to make the whole process inclusive and participatory.
Tariq Gill MPA from PML-N supported the cause and said they will support the initiative regardless of the fact that they were in Opposition at the moment. He said good acts must be backed regardless of party affiliations and promotion of interfaith harmony is definitely a commendable initiative.
Parliamentary Secretary Mahinder Pal Singh, said minorities are crown of a society and treating them in a good manner brings good name to the countries where they live. He said countries grow and develop when they give respect to their minorities, protect them and give them space in different sphere of lives. He said Pakistan's image abroad had increased manifold after the opening of Kartarpur Corridor as the act was about accommodating the followers of Sikh religion.
PTI MPA Sadia Sohail Rana said there was an increasing realization in the country that discrimination on the basis of religion must come to an end and people from different faiths shall strive together for the progress of the country and nation-building. She said to break taboos, religious festivals/rituals of different faiths had been organized and celebrated at worship places of other religions. She said the MPAs from Punjab will fully support the policy and any bill presented with aim to promote interfaith harmony in the province. MPAs Sumeira Ahmed Bukhari, Uzma Kardar and others also spoke on the occasion.