International Human Rights Day: Calls for reinforcement of religious freedom in the country

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Pakistanis calls for reinforced religious freedom and availability of other human rights during the National Conference held on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day on December 10. This conference was organized by Human Friends Organization (HFO) and was held at Lahore’s Faletti’s Hotel. Prominent leaders, members from the minorities’, Civil Society and others attended this conference.

Pakistani Christian NGO HFO

At this occasion, human rights activists from all four provinces were also present at this occasion. This conference was presided by Member National Assembly Asiya Nasir while his Excellency Mr. Yuri Fedkiw, the US Consul General graced the event as chief guest.

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The speakers included, Mr. Yuri Fedkiw Consul General USA, Ms. Asia Nasir, Member National Assembly,
Mr. Sajid Christopher, Mr. Yousaf Benjamin, Mr. Asif Aqeel, Mr. Pirbhu Satyani, Pastor Shahid Miraj, Mr. Hafiz Noman and Maulana Yousaf Awan.

At this occasion, a resolution was passed by the participants. The resolution read as follows:

The speakers, participants and organizer of the conference would like to present the following recommendations. The authorities must:

1.Ensure religious freedom, equal rights and protection of religious minorities and all the religious sects who enjoy citizenship of Pakistan.

2.Repeal / delete hate based material from the textbooks, educational policies and educational institutions which create hurdles for the students who are future of religious minorities.

3.Keep religion aside from the state affairs. Ref: Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech on August 11, 1974. “Religion has nothing to do with affairs of the state”.

4.Students belonging to minority religion should be allowed to study their won religion in the educational institutions, further discriminatory laws and policies such as providing extra marks to the Muslim students for learning religious studies by-heart. Therefore same arrangement should be introduced for Christian, Hindu, Sikh and students of other faith groups.

5.Repeal all the discriminatory laws and policies and introduce amendments in the constitution to ensure equal rights for all the citizens of Pakistan.

6.We appreciate government of Sindh for taking bold step and introducing legislation against forced conversions and establishing Minority Rights Commission, therefore we urge the national assembly, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan to follow the steps of Sind assembly.

7.Increase political room/ seats for the representatives of religious minorities in the national assembly as well as the provincial set ups.