Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Pakistani minorities put forward Charter of Demands

Human Rights organizations urged to endorse Charter of Demands

By Sheraz Khurram Khan

8/16/07 PAKISTAN (ANS) — The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) has put forward a thirty point Charter of Demands and has urged human rights organizations to endorse it.

The articles of the charter of demands include:

1. The historical speech of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, delivered on August 11 1947 in the first constituent assembly session and his views be made the integral part of the constitution of Pakistan, and all the articles of the constitution against such vision of the founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, should be immediately abolished and deleted.

2. To ensure restoration and sustainability of real democracy, free and fair elections under an independent, powerful and impartial election commission should be held with the participation of all the political parties and their leadership, to recognize the independence of judiciary, the sovereignty of the parliament and supremacy of the constitution in its original shape.

3. The government of Pakistan should ensure proper and adequate representation of religious minorities in National Assembly and Provincial assemblies of the country on the basis of increased population and on the basis of proportionate increase in general seats.

4. The religious minorities have been completely denied representation in the Senate of Pakistan through reserved seats. This is really a mockery with system that the representation of religious minorities in the National and Provincial Assemblies is recognized but the same right is denied in the upper house of Parliament. It is therefore, hereby demanded that the necessary amendment in the constitution be made, giving the proper representation to religious minorities in the senate of Pakistan and at least two seats from each province and one seat from federal capital be reserved.

5. The provision of the section 295-B &C of Pakistan Penal Code should be repealed forthwith by which the innocent citizens belonging to religious minorities are living in perpetual fear.

6. Hudood laws and other discriminatory laws against women and minorities should be totally repealed forthwith as these laws are in contravention with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

7. The government through public policies, include, religious minorities in the services of Pakistan including the operational services like Army. Police, services in judiciary and foreign affairs, etc.

8. Legislation should be effected to uproot the practice of Untouchability in vogue in Pakistan against the citizens belonging to religious minorities of Pakistan .

9. The personal laws of religious minorities be thoroughly reviewed and changes should be drafted in personal laws of respective religious minorities, after consultation with their religious experts and the same should be recognized through legislation to be enforced for respective communities.

10. The sanctity of marriage performed under personal laws of minority communities should be protected from violations and its dissolution should be prohibited by means of conversion to any other religion.

11. The government through appropriate legislation and policies should take concrete steps towards religious and social harmony, and form a “National Commission on Religious Tolerance” to promote unity, solidarity, and tolerance within the Pakistan society and bridge the gap between majority and minorities.

12. The concept of religion and minority provided in the constitution of Pakistan including Articles 2-A, 31, 227 and 228 should be excluded and done away, and politics in the name of religion should be prohibited forthwith.

13. The syllabus for children in educational institutions should be revised thoroughly and instead of religious biases it should promote religious harmony.

14. Law should be made to stop conversion to another religion by coercion and kidnapping. There should be penal law on conversion of minor children and it should be considered as cognizable offence.

15. An Interfaith council in place of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) should be constituted representing all religions in Pakistan to promote religious tolerance and understanding of different religions, which should give recommendations to parliament on behalf of all religious communities of Pakistan .

16. The main religious festivals of all minority communities should be celebrated at national level, by declaration of such festivals as official holidays in the country.

17. The trust properties should be managed and controlled by the respective communities and evacuee trust property board of Pakistan should be controlled and headed by the persons belonging to the religious minorities.

18. Appropriate measures should be taken in all the educational institutions of Pakistan by the government to impart religious education to the minorities’ students according to their faith.

19. Twenty grace marks should be given to the minorities’ students who excel in their religious education as given to Hafize-e-Quran.

20. Equal opportunities should be given to the religious programs of the minorities in the government and private media.

21. Complete religious freedom should be given to all religious communities to profess and practice their faith freely.

22. Contribution and sacrifices of minorities in the creation of Pakistan and nation should be officially recognized and be included in the educational curriculum

23. Special measures should be taken for the rehabilitation of the bonded labor in the field of agriculture and brick kiln profession.

24. Representatives of Minorities should be included in the policy making institutions of Pakistan .

25. Proper legislation should be enacted to discourage crimes based on religious hatred.

26. In all the previous population censuses, the minority population was incorrectly quoted. Therefore, a correct and genuine population survey be carried out to assess the actual population of the minorities.

27. Proper arrangements should be made for the jail inmates belonging to minorities’ communities to practice and profess their religion.

28. There should be a complete ban on the organizations that are involved, or are promoting hatred, intolerance, extremism and terrorism.

29. To uplift and empower the religious minorities of Pakistan , adequate representation should be given in all government services and every walk of life.

30. Islamic Sharia laws should not be imposed on minorities.