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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

International Minorities Conference Report

Syeda Abida Husain

International Minorities Conference Report... from Junaid Qaiser (sic):

IMC 2009 demands Pakistan to be run according to the vision of its founder.

LAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS) --International Minorities’ Conference 2009 was organized by International Minorities Alliance on “Equal Citizenship, Equal Rights" at Loyola Hall, 28 Waris Road, Lahore, Pakistan on Dec 12, 2009. The historical Conference was presided over by a renowned poet and intellectual Mr. Nazir Qaiser while Ms. Syeda Abida Hussain, former Federal Minister, ambassador to the United States of America and member of the Central Executive Committee of Pakistan Peoples Party was the Chief Guest Delegates of different of Christians, Sikhs, Zorasters, Hindus, Bahai’s and Muslims participated from all the four provinces of Pakistan and abroad..

Ms Saima Yousaf, Prof. Kamran James, Mr. Arshad Mehmood, Mr. Yousaf Akhtar Chaudhary, President, International Minorities Alliance (Germany), Mr. Shahid Mir Advocate, Human Rights Activist ,Prof. Salamat Akhtar, Mr. Peter Jacob, Ms. Kalpna Devi, Dr. Ajmal Niaz,Rt. Rev. Bishop Samuel Robert Azriah, Mr. Joseph Francies, Pastor Arif Siraj, Mr. Arjun Dass, Ms. Syeda Abida Hussain, Pakistan Peoples Party, Mr. Nazir Qaiser, Mr. Akram Gill (MNA),Allama Syed Zaheer Hashmi, Ulma-e-Mashaikh Wing, Pakistan Peoples Party, Allama Zia Hussain Zia, Mr. Arthar Barki, Ms. Asiya Nasir (MNA),Dr Stephan Saleem Hamdard, Rev. Father Zakria Ghauri, Mr. Liaqat Ali ,Mr. Nasir Khokhar, Chairman Pakistan Minorities ,Mr. Om Parkash Narian,Prof Yousaf Nayer, Mr. Taran Jeet Singh,Mr. Tariq Gill PML(N), and Mr. Amir Ajiz Bhati addressed in the conference.

Mr. Nazir Qaiser introduced the objectives of International Minorities Conference 2009 and said,” We want Pakistan a truly democratic state on the equal citizenship. Where there is no discrimination of any citizen on any basis. It must be shaped according to the vision of its pioneer.”

Allama Syed Zaheer Hashmi, Central President, Ulma-e-Mashaikh Wing, Pakistan Peoples Party said, “ The address of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that he delivered in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947 must be included as a part of the constitution of Pakistan and the biased Objective Resolution which was passed in 1949 must be excluded from the constitution. State affairs must be run according to the vision of its founder which provides equal opportunity to all Pakistanis without any distinction of religion, caste or creed. Pakistan must be run according to the vision of the father of the nation that he presented in the Ms. Asiya Nasir, A Christian Member of the Parliament of Pakistan said, “We can solve a lot of problems of the minorities, if we implement international conventions in letter and spirit. Role of the Pakistani media is biased against the Pakistani minorities. The present government of Pakistan is trying to address the problems of minorities Ms Saima Yousaf said,” State must recognize the contribution of minorities in the creation and construction of Pakistan and in different segments of development. She also emphasized the role of Christian women in the development of Pakistan especially in the fields of education and health. Prof Kamran James demanded democratic right of vote for the minorities. Mr. Yousaf Akhtar Chaudhary, President, International Minorities Alliance (Germany) said, “We demand equal rights for Pakistani minorities as they are provided to the minorities in the West.” Prof Salamat Akhtar said” Our state has deliberately ignored the contribution of minorities in the curriculum. Present day Pakistan is not according to the vision of the Quaid-e-Azam who dreamed of a secular, liberal and democratic state of Pakistan which has emerged as a theocratic state right now.Mr. Peter Jacob, Executive Secretary, National Commission of Justice and Peace (NCJP) said,” few laws should be removed and few should be included to restore minorities’ equal status.Ms. Kalpna Devi said,” there is too much kidnapping and forced conversion of Hindu girls in the province of Sindh and government of Pakistan is silent on this issue.Mr. Akram Gill, A Christian Member of the Parliament of Pakistan said, “Role of the governments of Pakistan has not been very much favourable about the minorities.”

Ms. Syeda Abida Hussain, the chief Guest said,” There is sense of depression and deprivation in the religious minorities of Pakistan in acute manner. We have never discussed our tragedies in detail; we never discussed the causes of the separation of the East Wing of Pakistan. We are facing economic, socio –politico and strategic crisis right now. We should solve our problems at our own, and make Pakistan a sensitive and responsible state. She also said all religions are beautiful.”

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