Poverty, unrest hit minorities hard: Dr. Paul Bhatti
Islamabad: Advisor to Prime Minster, Dr. Paul Bhatti has said minorities in Pakistan have suffered too much following unrest, terrorism and poverty in the country.
He said Kashmir Issue, Afghan War, terrorism, unstable governments in the past, poverty and illiteracy have hit the minorities hard and urged the international community to play role for the solution of these problems.
He expressed these views while addressing Walton Park Conference on “Promotion of Religious Freedom around the world” in London.
He said condition of religious minorities can be improved by promoting their rights, ensuring life safety, imparting education, providing legal support, security, real protection of the freedom and rights of citizenship through interfaith harmony dialogue.
“All this will be possible if democratic institutions are stabilized in Pakistan leading to create a society where peace, religious freedom, civil co-existence and human dignity are respected”, he added.
Talking about steps taken by the government for the minorities in Pakistan he said 4 seats have been reserved for minorities in Senate, 5 percent quota has been fixed in government jobs and11 August has been declared as minority day.
He said the purpose of this conference was to identify new ways of supporting religious communities under threat across the world and identify how the international community can strengthen its ability to protect religious freedom.
The scholars, policy makers and religious leaders participated in the conference with the aim to build new partnerships among Governments, NGOs and religious communities to develop practical proposals for global promotion and support of freedom of religion and beliefs, he added.
The presence of Dr. Paul Bhatti in the conference, approved by the Prime Minister, provided an opportunity to enhance the soft and progressive image of Pakistan.
“It is the recognition of Pakistan Government’s efforts against terrorism and acknowledgment of steps taken for the rights, empowerment and mainstreaming of minorities in the country coupled with religious tolerance, interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence in the country”, Dr. Paul said.
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