Lahore: On National Minority Day, Rwadari Tehreek expresses concerns over the deep rooted religious discrimination, and the recent incidents of hate speech, instigation and provocation against minorities in connection with the construction of a Hindu Temple in Islamabad, murder of Nadeem Joseph & blasphemy accused Tahir Ahmed Naseem in Peshawar, vandalizing of graves of Ahmadis community in Sheikupura & Gujranwala and also the hateful songs and video statements issued by some extremist clerics.
In a statement Chairman Rwadari Tehreek Samson Salamat has said that “The Pakistani citizens who belong to minority communities are generally forced to menial jobs where they are highly socially 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 on the eve of National Minority Day 2020 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-e-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.
Initiate long awaited educational reforms to highlight the contributions of the religious minorities in the creation and development of Pakistan.
‘Equality Day’ should be commemorated on 11th August instead of the Day of Minorities as officially designated in 2009.
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 laws should be made to ban and stop 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.
Newly established toothless and un-constitutional National Minority Commission should be abolished and an independent commission should be constituted through an Act of Parliament.