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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Role of Federal Ministry for Minorities to be terminated

Strangely silent for one about to lose his job...?

On November 11, 2010 a decision to dissolve the existing Federal Minority Ministry in Pakistan and to shift such responsibility to local provinces under a new devolution process, was made by the Pakistan Government Cabinet.

The Federal Minority Ministry has existed as part of the Religious Affair Ministry in Pakistan since 1947 since the independence of Pakistan was granted.  It was re-branded as the “Ministry of Religious and Minority Affair” in 1985,when it was allocated an independent portfolio having Cabinet Division representation.
The Provincial Governments of Sindh, Balochistan, NWFP and Punjab have held Minority Ministries since 1973, and provincial governments have since then been  nominating parliamentarians from Christian, Hindu, Sikh, and Parsi backgrounds as Provincial Ministers of Minority affairs.

The Minority Affair Ministry in Pakistan was formed after a long struggle of millions of Christians.  It heralded an acceptance of identity and presence of religious communities in Pakistan.

Christian bodies in Pakistan have positioned themselves against the recent cabinet ruling.  Dr Nasir Bhatti of Pakistan Christian Concern said (sic):

"Whenever there is rule of Pakistan Peoples Party PPP in Pakistan, the Christian community is targeted, like PPP government led by ZA Bhutto, took over our Schools, Colleges and Hospitals. ZA Bhutto not spared even Sunday holiday but announced Friday as weekly holiday to target Christians. Now present PPP regime is taking our identity Federal Minority Ministry which have spread concerns among 20 million Pakistani Christians.

“The decision to abolish Ministry of Minority Affairs was taken in Cabinet meeting in which a Christian Shahbaz Bhatti was present as Federal Minister for Minorities but we do not find his protest on record which is very unfortunate for Pakistani Christians” said Nazir Bhatti

Nazir Bhatti added “Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister for Minorities was claiming from two years that he will revise blasphemy law but instead of abolishing blasphemy law, he took part in Cabinet session where Minority Ministry was abolished."

"We warn government of Pakistan to refrain from abolishing Federal Minority Ministry because it is symbol of presence of millions of Christians in Pakistan and we will be forced to act rightly if our way is blocked in federation of Pakistan" commented Nazir S Bhatti
The BPCA is concerned that the loss of such a pivotal role from the cabinet will undermine the Minority voice in Government.  Whatever we feel about the current Federal Minister of Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, often time he has used his influence to lodge FIR's against perpetrators of injustice.  One example was during the case of Shazia Bashir.  Moreover, having a minority officer in cabinet allows a wider perspective of the issue relating to our communities to register with government - irrespective of whether or not they opt to address matters arising. 

I am bemused that there were no objections to the loss of this office from Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, however, if there is one thing we have all learned the Party Whip is a preeminent force in Pakistani politics. 

The BPCA is in the process of requesting a meeting with the UK High Commissioner of Pakistan.  If he allows us to meet we shall discuss this matter and the immoral judicial decision by the judges involved in the blasphemy case of Asia Bibi.


  1. Dear Friends of Christian Minority of Pakistan:

    We demand that the government do the following:

     The government of Pakistan should abolish the blasphemy law;
     Call back the bill from Swat to practice Shria Law immediately;
     Introduce a bill to have the Christians practice double voting right in the national and provincial election and reserve percentage of Senate seats for Christians;
     Restore rights for the minorities as stated in the Constitution of 1948;
     Return rest of the Christian owned and operated Schools, Colleges and Hospitals back to with expenses paid for at least for two years as cost of occupation; and
     Introduce new legislation in order to protect minorities from home grown Extremists and strict penalties including death penalties for the abusers of minorities.
    Option for the Government of Pakistan:

    As you may know that the Govt. of Pakistan has failed to protect the Christian community of 15 to 20 million from the mass 150 million Muslims. The Christian community has been terrorized, harassed, tortured, humiliated, spited on, raped and persecuted for years. You may be able to read all that in "Pakistan Christian Post". While in there, you can click on the website of "Pakistan Christian Congress" to read more about it. The time has come when the community has requested that they be given separate piece of land by dividing the province of Blochistan into East Blochistan for Blochies and “West Blochistan" for minorities. There is room for both, believe you me as stated below.
    Pakistan covers 803, of land. The latest count puts the population at 177 million (2008 estimate) as below:
    -Balochistan - the largest province - covers 44% of PAKISTAN’s
    Land mass (353,738. with population of only 10 million (2008 estimate);
    -Punjab - the 2nd largest province - covers 25% of Pakistan ’s the land mass
    (205, with population of around 110 million (2008 estimate);
    It is the Punjab where most of our people reside. It will be difficult for Pakistan to give even one inch of land.

    What I suggest is that Pakistan gave us 176, from Balochistan to form our own Province which will be part of Pakistan with the head being a Governor, appointed by the government of Pakistan and it will be called West Blochistan. Since it is mostly underdeveloped, it makes economic sense to give half of it to those people who know how to develop economy and we will be self supporters and will not even ask for large share as the other provinces. This newly formed province will shine within few years from it existence and will have:
     Iran in the West;
     Afghanistan in the North;
     Pakistan in the East; and
     Arabian Sea in the South.

    The border will be drawn from Bahawal Khan in the north to Saida Khan in the south. Please check Pakistan’s map for details.

    Here is how it should start:
     All members of the Christian people of Pakistan, along with any other minority members who want to move in there;
     Government of Pakistan will, under the current system, appoint a Governor;
     A Premier will be designated until the elections are held and he will announce his cabinet with the approval of the Governor;
     Pakistan will furnish the initial expenses along with all the internal community including the members of the Christian people abroad;
     This province will have its own Police force to keep order and law; and
     IMF and World bank will finance the province for major projects.

    The Province will be responsible for collecting its own taxes and will pass on the share of the Federal government to it every year.

    We thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely yours,

    Raymond Durrani and Associates
    Political Strategists
    Friends of Christian Minority in Pakistan
    1 (905) 683-2341

  2. She is not going to be a minister of minorities of Pakistan - how sad.

  3. She (Shahbaz Bhatti) will no longer be a Minister of Minorities - how sad for the world?

  4. Brother thanks for the news but this is normal for our people, too long we have had our leaders disappoint us so this is no surprise.

    I hope you have some joy with the Pakistani high commissioner

    Khuram Nelson

  5. Greeting in the majestic name of divine Yeshua:

    -unity is the key to accomplishing goals. And for this purpose, all Christians must unite & show solidarity.
    -make one united platform for achievement.
    -blasphemy law in Pakistan must be repealed and not the minister sacked.
    -Minister's silence is very sad & disappointing.