Minorities’ Members of National Assembly call on Prime Minister Gilani
Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani declared that the Government has constituted a high level Committee to examine reorganizing the functions of the Ministry of Minorities which would also give recommendations to take care of the problems of the minorities in the country. The Committee, he mentioned consists of Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary Cabinet and Secretary Establishment Division.
The minorities and the women, the Prime Minister reiterated, are his own constituencies and he has been personally involved in their welfare and well being.
The Prime Minister was talking to a delegation of Minorities’ MNAs belonging to all the political parties which met him here at the PM’s House this afternoon.
The Prime Minister assured the delegation that the Minorities Development Fund meant for their uplift and economic empowerment through development schemes and financial assistance would not lapse and would be equally distributed among the 12 minorities’ MNAs including two women MNAs to the tune of Rs 07 million each.
The Prime Minister said that in accordance with the spirit of 18th Constitutional Amendment, he would direct the Provincial Governments to cater for the needs of the minorities in their respective PSDPs (Public Sector Development Programme), while he assured that the Federal Government would accommodate the minorities in the Prime Minister’s Development Programmes as well as PSDP.
The Prime Minister directed the Establishment Division to ensure 5% quota for the minorities as decided earlier in all the Federal Government institutions including the Armed Forces. He further mentioned that the quota of the minorities in the Parliamentary Secretariats and Judicial set-up would also be duly catered for, by the respective institutions.
The Prime Minister stated that the present government is determined to cater for the issues and problems of all sections of the society with special consideration to matters relating to the minorities. The government would not only look after the welfare of the minorities in the country but also help them for their interests at international level.
The Prime Minister asked Mr Akram Masih Gill, Minister of State for Interfaith Harmony and Minorities Affairs to prepare a broad based comprehensive programme for the improvement and redressal of the grievances of the minorities.
The members of the minorities’ delegation expressed complete confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister and his commitments to the rights of the minorities. They emphasized that the issues concerning minorities have to be considered at national level through a harmonious policy which can be implemented throughout the country.
The delegation specifically mentioned that since the minorities have been given special representation in the national flag, therefore, their issues deserve to be considered through policies which can be implemented throughout the country. The delegation stressed upon ensuring 5% quota for the minorities in the Federal Government jobs as well as increase in the amount of assistance to the deserving and poor out of the Minorities Development Fund from Rs 5,000/- upto Rs 50,000/- according to the nature of requirement.
The delegation included Minister of State for interfaith Harmony and Minorities Affairs Mr Akram Masih Gill (PML-Q), Dr Paul Jacob Bhatti, Advisor to Prime Minister on Minorities Affairs, Mr Lal Chand MNA (PPPP), Dr Darshan MNA (PML-N), Dr Nelson Azeem MNA (PML-N), Mr Krishan Chand Parwani MNA (PML), Mr Munawer Lal MNA (MQM), Mrs Asiya Nasir MNA (JUI), and Dr Khatumal Jeewan MNA (PPPP).
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