Karachi, May 21, 2012 (PPI-OT): Chief Minister Sindh Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that legislation at Federal as well as Provincial level is required to protect the rights of minorities. He asked the legislators and lawyers belonging to minority community to prepare a draft law to this effect which could be presented in passed by Sindh Assembly as well as National Assembly.
He observed this while addressing a large number of representatives of the Hindu community, traders and businessmen in a dinner hosted in his honour by Special Assistant to C.M Sindh Mr. Pahlaj Mal at a local hotel last night.
Syed Qaim Ali Shah condemned the forced conversion of Hindu girls and kidnapping for ransom in which especially Hindu businessmen are targeted. He said that all the administrative measures have been adopted by the provincial government to protect the rights of minorities to ensure their safety and to provide them friendly atmosphere for their economic, social as well as religious activities.
While expressing his deep concern over the migration of some Hindu families, he said that Present Government was well aware of the problems being faced by the Hindu community. We are making all out efforts at every level to ensure the safety of minorities, and no one will be permitted to disturb this peace loving community, he added.
Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that Hindu community is the integral part of the province which has immensely contributed for the progress and development of the province through their business and trade activities. He said that 1973, constitution gives special emphasis for protecting the rights of minorities, adding that Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto struggled hard for the realization of minority rights and present PPP leadership under President Asif Ali Zardari gives special focus and preference on the safety, progress and prosperity of minorities in the country.
He said that under the directives of the President Asif Ali Zardari notices have been issued to evacuate the Hindu Gymkhana. Besides this, the government is also focusing to preserve and renovate the religious places belonging to minorities and special funds will be allocated for the repair and renovation of the Hindu worship places which were damaged in last years floods and rains.
Syed Qaim Ali Shah added that “Sadhu Bello at Sukkur” is not only religious place for Hindus but it is historical and recreational site of Sindh and for repair and renovation of this great site Rs.25 million were allocated in last fiscal year, budget but it had not been utilized. He said that Rs.400 million are earmarked for the same purpose in current fiscal year.
He urged upon the minority MPAs to constitute a committee for proper utilization of these funds so that this cultural heritage site of Sindh could be protected and saved. Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah also announced a grant of Rs. 10 million for “All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat Forum” which is the representative body of the Hindu community working for the protection of Hindu community rights and solving the problems faced by Hindu community.
He also announced the creation of endowment fund for free treatment of poor persons of the Hindu minority community at government hospitals. Chief Minister Sindh said that not only 5 percent quota for providing government jobs to minorities is being implemented strictly but competent and educated candidates belonging to minority communities on open merit are coming to government service through SPSC competitive exams.
Syed Qaim Ali Shah further said that PPP was the only party, which enjoys support of the people from every nook and corner of the country at grass root level and it deals all its supports on equal basis without any religious and ethnic discrimination.
Speaking on the occasion Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah said that Hindu Community is the beauty of Sindh and after partition of Indo-Pak Sub-Continent, the migrated Hindu community even in India kept the identification of Sindh intact. PPP Government at Federal level will make all out efforts to solve the problems faced by the Hindu community.
He said that creation of separate endowment fund for treatment of poor Hindu community is a great step by the C.M Sindh which will bring the positive image of the PPP Government. From this fund 3.5 million poor Hindu Community people will be benefitted.
He said that for 5% representation of minorities in Assemblies legislation was required. Efforts in this direction will be made by the PPP Government, he added. He said that forced conversion of Hindu girls would not be tolerated at any cost.
Talking on the occasion Speaker Sindh Assembly Mr. Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that PPP has always been committed for the realization and protection of minority rights. Expressing his deep concern over forced conversion, kidnapping for ransom and resultant migration of Hindu families, Mr. Nisar Ahmed Khuhro ensured the Hindu community of the government support and urged upon them not to leave the country.
He said that Pakistan constitution treats everyone on equal basis and present democratic government is trying hard to give representation to minorities at all the level. He appreciated the contribution of the Hindu community in trade and business inspite of difficult circumstances faced by them. He added that minority legislators in Provincial Assembly have always raised their voice against the injustices being meted out to their communities at different places, which shows their commitment to their problems.
Earlier, different speakers representing the Hindu community apprised the C.M Sindh said and other participants about their problems. Speakers said that the Hindu community was facing enormous problems including forced conversion of Hindu girls, kidnapping for ransom, occupation and encroachment of Hindu worship places and Gymkhanas, misuse of blasphemy laws against minority communities, issues of separate endowment fund for poor Hindu patients, increase in seats of minorities.
They said that due to these problems many families have opted for migration to neighboring country. Most of the migrating families belong to business class, resultantly province is deprived of such devoted business community and business is suffering.
They said that according to a report of HRCP 30 to 50 families on average are migrating every month. Speakers demanded from the government for early solution of the problems faced by Hindu community. On this occasion, Provincial Ministers, Mir Abid Hussain jatoi, Jam Mehtab Dahar, Dr. Mohan Lal, MPAs Dr. Imran Zaffar Leghari, Imdad Pitafi, Mr. Fayyaz Buut, Dr. Nasrullah Baloch, Special Assistant to C.M Siddque Abu Bhai and others were present.
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