Islamabad: Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani presided over an international conference on the theme of “child now” and expressed these views:
It is a matter of immense privilege to address the participants of Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) conference on the theme of “Child Now”. With a vision of empowering lives, creating opportunities and strengthening the bonds of humanity, HHRD’s services for the cause of humanity in varied fields are simply commendable.
Children are our future and to work for their betterment is a noble cause; you all must cherish the thought that God has chosen you for such a worthy enterprise which none other can match.
The Minister said that Islam also enjoins upon us the sacred task of care, protection and grooming of children. In the light of Islamic teachings, we are committed to provide a congenial environment to our children where they can grow into responsible and dignified human beings.
Keeping the family as a primary institution responsible for child care, the Government has initiated various programmes to support them in bringing up their children in a better way.
The Minister said that as a party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Pakistan has always remained at the forefront to advocate the Child Rights’ agenda and played a key role at regional and international level to protect Child Rights.
The constitution of Pakistan also guarantees Child Rights to which the government of Pakistan is committed. Legislative and administrative reforms are being spearheaded to make them a living reality.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Minister said that PPP’s struggle for the cause of democracy has won a democratic environment to breathe in for future generations. Democracy provides the young ones a conducive environment for learning whereas dictatorships stifle dissent. Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto’s sacrifice for the cause of democracy is a testament to PPP’s commitment to create better conditions for our children in the country.
The fruits of democracy have come out in the form of 18th constitutional amendment and 7th NFC Award. These measures of the present democratic dispensation are bound to provide children with better political and economic environment to prosper and grow.
The Minister said that notwithstanding the government’s utter commitment to the cause of children, it is an unfortunate reality that children are faced with various sociological, economic and psychological vulnerabilities.
Given the social, political and economic milieu in which Pakistani children are placed, it is a herculean task to provide them with a conducive environment where they not only grow safe but also bring into optimum utilization the potential God has bestowed upon them.
Here I would like to invoke the concept of public- private partnership through which civil society organizations work hand in glove with the government for the overall betterment of children. For the realization of this esteemed goal, civil society organizations can even join hands amongst themselves for better utilization of knowledge and resources.
The Minister said that our responsibility towards children has grown manifold in the wake of growing menace of extremism and terrorism in the country. Terrorist organizations find it easy to allure children and then brainwash them into terrorists. It is our duty to protect children from such forces of evil to nip their designs in the bud. Government has made all out efforts to reach out to the IDPs and poor strata of society so that they don’t become easy prey at the hands of the terrorists.
The Minister said that devastating floods across the country in the last two consecutive years have also left our children vulnerable. Floods have not only caused death and destruction; they have also resulted in the displacement of families.
Children have suffered the most in the consequence of these natural calamities. Their education has got effected. It was an enormous challenge and the PPP government has come up to it by ensuring the necessary relief and rehabilitation work in the affected areas. Through hectic and pain-staking efforts, the life has been brought back to normal.
The Minister said that the issues of domestic violence, corporal punishment at schools, juvenile justice system, street children, malnutrition among children, child mortality rate are all there but the fortunate thing is that the progressive government of the PPP shares your vision for better and happy children.
PPP government is open to take all measures which can ensure better future to our children. Your feedback in this connection will be both beneficial and appreciable.
The Minister said that through this conference, we can develop a model for treating our children in a way which not only guarantees their success but also the success of their homeland.
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