Lahore: August 10, 2018. (PCP) Rwadari Tehreek, a social movement working across the country for the promotion of pluralism and interfaith harmony to counter the prevailing culture of intolerance, extremism and violence in connection with National Minority Day has demanded the attention of the Federal Government, Provincial Governments and all other stake-holders towards the challenges to the rights and freedoms of the Pakistanis belonging to minorities.
In a statement issued in connection with National Minority Day, Rwadari Tehreek Chairman Samson Salamat has expressed concerns over the dangerous trends of religious discrimination, and violence against religious minorities who are being targeted because of their faith.
The statement says that "socially the Pakistani citizens who belong to minority communities are forced to menial jobs where they are highly discriminated such as sanitary workers, sever-men, domestic servants, brick-kiln workers but nothing concrete has been done to stop discrimination against them and for their uplift". "The resolve of the issues of minorities are through political process, however this is very unfortunate that power corridors are even without the true and genuine representation of the religious minorities due to ineffective representation at all tier of democratic system of Pakistan including at local government, provincial assemblies and national assembly, because the minority voters are not being asked about their choice for their representation, but rather their representatives are picked up by the political parties" Mr. Samson Salamat added .
Rwadari Tehreek in connection with National Minority Day has issued the following Charter of Demand for the Protection and Promotion of Minority Rights and has called upon the attention of Federal and Provincial Governments, State Institutions, political parties, media and civil society to seriously look into the recommendations:
The speech of the Founder of Pakistan of 11th August 1947 to the Constituent Assembly should be made part of the Preamble of the Constitution of Pakistan and should also be included in the curriculum of the educational institutions. The Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah during his first address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan said "We are all citizens and equal citizens of one state....Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State."
Constitutional Reforms Package in consultation with religious minorities and civil society should be brought to end discrimination and biases and to ensure effective political participation and representation of religious minorities.
Independent Commission on Minorities should be constituted at Federal and Provincial Levels through an Act of Parliament which should have the powers of a tribunal in the incidents of the violations of minority rights.
Mechanisms should be evolved for the effective Implementation of the Supreme Court Judgment 2014 on the Protection of Minorities.
The laws which are being misused to instigate violence should be reviewed which has led the destruction of the lives and properties of religious minorities.
An independent Inquiry Commission should be made to assess the issue of forced conversion of the women and girls belonging to religious minorities. The findings of the Commission should be made public and those involved in forced conversion should be apprehended. Moreover a law should be made to ban forced conversion.
An effective De-radicalization plan should be made which should include the ban on hate speech, elimination of biased material from the curriculum, ban and action against all terrorist outfits, their financiers, facilitators and supporters and de-weaponization policy to stop Gun and Bomb Culture.