LAHORE – Terming federal cabinet’s decision to constitute a committee to formulate recommendations for increasing quota of minorities in assemblies a move to please the US and European masters, mainstream religio-political parties believed that the government was trying to divert attention from real issues by bringing to limelight non-issues.

Federal cabinet has constituted a committee comprising Ministers of Law, Minorities and Interfaith Harmony to formulate recommendations for increasing seats of minorities with proportions to their population. The committee will submit its recommendations in the next cabinet meeting.

Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Liaquat Baloch said that the move was aimed at diverting attention from real issues, pleasing the foreign masters and getting support of minorities in next elections. He said that minorities were already given right to vote on general seats and at the same time their seats were reserved in proportionate to their population. Nowhere in the world, he said, minorities were given such a privilege.

He said that the government needed to amend the constitution to fulfill this agenda. He said that the rulers should avoid playing with the constitution for ulterior motives.

Baloch said that there was resentment among leaders of different religions on separate electorate as it was considered a formula to alienate minorities from majority population. He said that there was a need to overhaul prevailing system as it had completely failed to deliver. He said that dynasty politics in parties was a major blot that was damaging the system.

The JI leader said that there was need to implement system of proportionate representation to get real fruit of democracy. He said that it would strengthen parties, political system and put to an end dynasty politics. He said that political parties would nominate capable Muslims and persons from minorities in proportionate to the mandate given by the masses.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan Secretary General Qari Zawar Bahadar criticised the cabinet decision, saying that the government was taking measures to please the US and western world.

He said that the minorities were already enjoying dual right of casting vote and representation in assemblies in proportionate to their population.

He said that JUI was in support of giving due rights to minorities but there should be logical formula for their representation.

“There should be either separate or joint electorate. Giving minorities right to vote on general seats and get reserved seats in proportionate to population was illogical. Reserved seats of minorities should be abolished and they should contest polls on general seats”, he said.