Faisalabad: Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) observed National Minority Day 2020 with civil society organizations, social & political workers, teachers, HRD’s, women , youth and stakeholders highlighting the core issues with demands for constitutional reforms in support of religious minorities.
HRFP’s consultation on Minority Day of likeminded individuals and groups for identifying their problems, framing the strategies and developing the concrete plan of actions/methods of approach that could be effectively used in improving the status of target groups. This event significantly mobilized the multi stakeholders of society to sensitize for the needs to raise and work together in order to get the impacts.
Naveed Walter president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) said that the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech of 11th August states clearly about the equality of all citizens of Pakistan in political matters rather than their religious affiliations. He said the Jinnah’s address to the 1st Constituent Assembly of Pakistan is an espousal of a secular state for which he dreamed of every citizen’s religious freedoms and an announcement of no distinctions ever on the base of religion & beliefs. He said that 11th August Day is an actual ideology & vision of Jinnah whose faith was fully compatible with modern democratic values, he added more. He said during Jinnah’s 13 months rules no religious legislations were introduced in constitutional assembly, he added
Naveed Walter said Jinnah not only announce about his grand vision of a secular democracy on 11th August 1947 but in other speeches also as he addressed on 26th February 1948, “…In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state —to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims —Hindus, Christian and Parsis—but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan···”. The same he said on March 22, 1948, “We guarantee equal rights to all citizens of Pakistan. Hindus should in spirit and action wholeheartedly co-operate with the Government and its various branches as Pakistanis.”, and there are many other examples, Naveed Walter added.
HRFP recommended that the 11th August 1947 speech of Muhammad Ali Jinnah should be a part of constitution and urged for the other reforms in the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 as it unambiguously declares to religious minorities as secondary citizens including articles of Constitution of Pakistan 2, 2-A and 41 (2-B) and others , HRFP demands !