Call for bold steps

Lahore – Speakers at a moot Thursday called upon political parties to show courage to issue tickets to minority candidates on general seats in next elections in the constituencies where they have significant presence.

An NGO, Pattan Development Organization, arranged the special sitting of parliamentarians, councillors from five districts of Punjab and civil society members . It was suggested to have a multi-member constituency system to bring the minorities into mainstream electoral processes.

Other recommendations include implementation of the National Action Plan in its true spirit is essential to stamp out extremism, providing basic facilities like clean drinking water throughout Punjab especially in the minority centric localities.

The participants also laid emphasis on the establishing separate graveyards for minorities and ownership rights of katchi abadis.

Rabia Ghani from Pattan stressed that the mainstreaming of minorities in the local government system is essential for good governance. She added the elected local members should strengthen their constituencies that would lead to community development and good governance.

The participants urged Nadra to have a special complaint system where complainant can raise the issues with Nadra in registration process. Nadra must have a uniform and centralised system for all citizens of Pakistan stated by Ms Mary Gill, a PML-N MPA.

Another lawmaker Ramesh Singh Arora said regarding Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahab, the main issue is of the land to build the campus. Mr Ramesh Singh Arora urged the committee to expedite work on it.

Shehzad Munshi stated that whenever there is a discussion of minorities on the floor of the assembly, the members across party lines support the cause.

Shazia Khan of Pattan’s Provincial Group said that civil society must rigorously worked towards the social cohesion to fight extremism in the society.

The petition was signed off by participants including councillors and MPs to mainstream the minorities in the political processes of Pakistan. The MPs promised legislation for the purpose.

The participants of the event highly appreciated the initiative of Pattan Development Organization.

Noted people Bushra Anjum Butt, Shehzadi Kabir, Kanji Raam, Ayesha Javed, Dr Noshin Hamid, Sadia Sohail Rana, Nabila Hakim Ali Khan, Faiza Ahmad Malik and Khadija Umar were also present.

 

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