Prominent Pakistani Christian educationist Professor Anjum James Paul has urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan to include representatives of minorities in the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral reforms. For this cause, he has written a letter to the Premier urging him to ensure that minorities are represented in the commission: which consists of 33 Muslim members.
Professor Anjum James who heads Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA) maintained that the Prime Minister must pay attention to the above cited issue. The text of the letter dated January 23, is as follows:
Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister Pakistan
Prime Minister’s Secretariat
Subject: – REQUEST FOR REPRESENTATION OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON ELECTORAL REFORMS
Greetings and peace from Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA).
PMTA would like to draw your kind attention on the subject cited above.
Sir, Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms consists on thirty three (33) Muslim members for drafting bill on Electoral Reforms. There is representation of religious minorities in the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan but this is unfortunate that none of them has been considered to be part of such an important committee. Selected women in the parliament have become members of the committee but selected religious minority members have been kept aloof from the mentioned committee.
Poor Members of Parliament belonging to religious minorities could not find any place when Parliamentary Committee was constituted for the 18th amendment and late Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti was Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs at that time and now Mr. Kamran Michael is Federal Minister for Human Rights but could not find any place being a full fledge minister.
Sir, you have recently said in one of your speeches in January 2017, “I am the Prime Minister of all Pakistanis.” No doubt, you are the Prime Minister of Pakistan and you have been elected from your constituency by the votes of the Muslims and religious minorities. According to Article 25 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.” It is sometimes said that green color in the flag of Pakistan represents Muslims while white color represents religious minorities but unfortunately most of the times white color in the flag is not considered so important.
There are clouds of distress in the religious minorities of Pakistan. The minority members of the parliament actively play their role being the members of various parliamentary committees but it is unfortunate that sense of segregation and sense of deprivation .has been promoted not only in the minority parliamentarians but in the religious minorities as well. Religious minorities are already marginalized and it is needed to protect minority rights by the state.
Sir, It is requested you to kindly make sure of representation from the members of religious minorities in the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms so that they can have their active input in the committee.
With best regards.
PROF. ANJUM JAMES PAUL