Minorities should be effectively represented through electoral reforms
A tri-party consultation was organized by National Commission for Justice and Peace in which representatives of political parties, civil society and media persons were invited. The objective of this consultation was to foster between the mainstream political parties, and local media representatives focusing on the factsheet of political parties’ manifestos, specifically addressing the issues pertaining to religious minorities.
Naeem Yousaf Gill, Executive Director of National Commission, Dr. Riaz Sheikh, Dean Faculty of Social Science, SZABIST, Clifton, Anthony Naveed, Member Provincial Assembly Sindh, People’s Party, Iqbal Ahmad Detho, Chairperson Sindh Human Rights Commission, Government of Sindh, Younis. S.Khan, President, Minority Wing Karachi, Jamaat-e-Islami, Kalpana Devi, Additional Advocate General Sindh and Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja expressed their views.
Iqbal Ahmad Detho said that there are various types of human rights problems in our society, including civil, political, economic and social problems. Articles 8 to 28 of the Constitution of Pakistan outline the fundamental human rights. These fundamental rights are Right to Life.
Mr. Dethu stressed the importance of ensuring that all constitutional rights apply to both the majority and the minority. He said that while human rights issues are prioritized, there is still work to be done to ensure that all rights are properly covered. Must be implemented.
Anthony Naveed said that Pakistan People’s Party has always paid attention to minorities for participation in the mainstream. His party also supported a critical and constructive review of its 2018 manifesto. He said that there is a lack of positive attitudes in our society. The People’s Party has given a prominent place to minority quotas and other minority leaders and he is still hopeful that their leadership will provide more opportunities for religious minorities to be represented in the mainstream.
Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja said that he supports his colleague Anthony Naveed and believes that the current leadership of the People’s Party is trying to give adequate representation to the religious minorities. In this regard, Bilawal Bhutto’s thinking is very clear.
Younis S. Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami said that his party has always taken practical steps for equal representation of minorities and in this regard, he is continuously dialoguing with the leadership of the party so that minorities can be brought forward from the grass root level.
Kalpana Devi said that she always raised her voice for the rights of minorities, she thinks that now political parties have to go beyond promises and allegiances and take practical and comprehensive measures. Religious minorities have been given equal opportunities and facilities because religious minorities have always worked for the development and survival of Pakistan in every field. She said that there is a need to bring women forward in our society. Political parties, especially minority women, should be given effective representation so that they can solve their problems properly.
Dr. Riaz Shaikh said that laws are made for the improvement and reform of human society. Political parties need to improve their election manifesto for minorities. The best legislation and manifesto should be improved for minorities and they should be given equal representation in the society.
While concluding the program, Naeem Yousuf Gill thanked all the participants and said that his organization wants to take all the stakeholders in the society together so that everyone can work for the betterment of the society.
He said in this study report the objective of publication is to present the facts, recommendations and directly address the issues of religious minorities to guide the political parties to ensure these reforms in their election manifestos.