August 14th a day of mourning or celebration?? August 14th, 1947 a mistake or blessing??
16 Aug 2007
Rays of development organization (ROD) interviewed some capable minority leaders at the 60th Independence Day of Pakistani Nation. Chairman ROD Mr. Ferhan Mazher, coordinator ROD fact-finding team Zimran Elias, Coordinator office ROD Jawad Mazhar, Imran Mazher and Nadeem Samuel conducted telephonic interviews of Minority leaders on Aug 14th, 2007.
Member of Pakistan National assembly and minority representative in religious fundamental political party Muthida Majlas-e-Amal Ms Asyia Nasir said that we are much more Pakistani than our Muslim brethren. This is our soil and we are devoted and loyal to it as much as Muslims of the Pakistan.
Ms Nasir stressed on the need to increase minority seats in National assembly in proportion to the increase in the seats for majority of Pakistan. She added that she prayed for the prosperity and success of Pakistan today.
Member of national assembly Mushtaq Victor appreciated government for providing relief to the minorities in Pakistan. Victor said that Gen Pervaiz Musharraf wishes to see minorities in the main stream of Pakistan.
Victor admired Women protection bill. He also said that minorities should build union in their ranks.
When asked by ROD activist, Joseph Francis replied that today we are celebrating the 60th birth day but I regret to say that we are still slaves. Minorities are still deprived of constitutional rights in Pakistan. Francis also said "this is not the Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam".
Expressing his views about political condition of minorities Joseph Francis (Chief of PCNP) said "In the year 2007 two leading Christian political parties APMA and PCNP came forward".
"Both the parties need to develop mutual understanding for the good of minorities" Francis added "APMA and PCNP must endeavor to repeal the blasphemy laws in the country".
Executive Secretary United Religious interfaith (URI) Yuel Bhatti said that "Neither the minorities are free nor do they have equal rights here".
Remembering the nationalization of Minority institutions in 1971 by the government of Pakistan Bhatti said that it has pushed Christian community 30 years flipside.
"Pakistan was found with the decisive vote of a Christian" Bhatti went on saying "and none of the Christians have been proved terrorist or infiltrator in previous 60 years".
"Christians established apex educational and health institutions in Pakistan" said Bhatti. Replying to another question Yuel Bhatti said that our Muslim brothers and government should not forget the sacrifices laid down by the Christians for the development of Pakistan.
Joel Amer Sahotra said that it's a universal truth that the minorities in a country do not enjoy the same rights as majority of that country. But in Pakistan minorities are deprived of the most basic rights promised by the father of nation Quid E Azam.
Sahotra continued to say that our leaders should build unity to work on a sole plate form to get the basic rights. He added that this is the only way to get equal opportunities here.
Sahotra begged God to bless Pakistan.
When contacted by ROD, Mr Tahir Naveed Chaudhary (Zonal Coordinator APMA Sargodha) said, "Minorities in Pakistan have been robbed off their rights. All minorities must be united".
Confident Tahir Naveed Chaudhary said that each and every discriminatory law should be repealed and minorities should have their representatives in the senate as well.
Ferhan Mazher (Chief of Rays of Development Organization) said that on August 14th ROD fact finding team visited different places of Sargodha city but ROD team was troubled to notice that only a few Christians were actually celebrating the freedom day.
ROD chief Ferhan Mazher said that this produces a question in his mind that 'why Pakistani Christians are not celebrating the Day?'
Mazher said that this not a little thing, government should pay proper heed to this. "Government must repeal discriminatory laws including Blasphemy law of the country and secure and provide equal rights to every minority in the country" said Mazher "so that Christians might celebrate the Day as well".
"The awfully bad socio-economic condition of poor Christians also holds them back from celebrating the Independence day", said ROD Chief Ferhan Mazher.
Mazher demanded equal rights and opportunities for every single minority member in Pakistan.