Pakistan: Minorities demand better representation in the assemblies

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ISLAMABAD: (Christian Times) – The minorities in Pakistan need to have better representation in the parliament and also in the political parties contesting the elections. A consultative group workshop organized by Pattan Development Organisation demanded concrete steps to enhance social harmony between the Muslims and the minorities living in Pakistan.

The event organized in Islamabad and attended by members of the parliament along with lawyers, civil society representatives, women councilors, media personnel and government officials demanded that the political parties should award tickets to the members of the minority communities in the constituencies where the minority voters are in significant numbers.

Demanding the redressal of the root causes of the discrimination faced by the minorities of the country, the participants at the workshop demanded that social harmony must be improved in the country so that Muslims and the minorities could have better understanding of the viewpoints of their respective communities.

The charter of demand presented on the occasion also said that the census held recently should be evaluated in detail from this perspective in order to sensitise the government officials and the general masses towards the rights of minorities as this would clear a major obstacle in the mainstreaming of the minorities.

The participants demanded that NADRA should start a vigorous campaign to register the minorities so that it may be ensured that the minority communities could fairly attain their quota in the jobs and at educational institutions.

It is important to note here that Christian Times has always been vocal on the issue and has repeatedly demanded direct elections for the minority communities. The organisation believes that the direct elections of the representatives would help the minorities to hold their representatives accountable for their performance.

Currently, the system in Pakistan operates in a manner that only the cronies of the leaderships of the political parties get to become members of the parliament while the common Christians, Hindus and Sikhs have no way to send their representatives to the parliament since the reps only become members on the reserved seats after the 2002 law made by the former president Pervez Musharraf.