LAHORE: No quota reserved for the minorities in the Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Scheme censured by Human rights and religious sectors.
A Pakistani Christian news agency- Pakistan Christian Post argues that quota system for minorities in various schemes run by federal and provincial governments has been ignored. They further claim that these quota systems were aimed to bring side-lined religious communities of the Pakistani society into mainstream. This is worth mentioning here that the constitution of Pakistan provides for reserved quota for minorities in political representation. Additionally, the Federal Government also issued a notification O.M. 4/15/2006-R-2, in 2007,
wherein reserving 5 % quota fixed for minorities in Federal Government’s employment however, this notification has not seen much of its implementation thus far. PCP further squabbles that this notification was an initial step as it was speculated that this outline would be adopted in all state sponsored/state owned enterprises regardless of the technical flaws that accompanied it. However, the Federal Government has not managed to implement this quota system in various schemes. The argument continues that moreover, the provincial governments have been reluctant to take steps for implementation of quota system for minorities at provincial level.
Punjab Lok Sujag an organization working in collaboration with REAT Network along with its Human Rights Defenders’ Committee staged a demonstration in front of Lahore Press Club to protest the reluctance and negligence of Federal Government to reserve quota for minorities in Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Scheme without appropriate execution of previously reserved employment quota. The protest started at about 03:00 PM while dozens of people from different religious minorities in company with the civil society joined hands in hands while they registered a peaceful protest at the LPC.
The protesters urged the federal and provincial governments to assign quota for minorities on easy conditions in the Prime Minister’s Youth loan scheme in order to facilitate and empower the minorities in Pakistan. The demonstrators called the protest to end by submitting their demand of reservation of quota in the Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Scheme together with an apt carrying out of 5 % quota at Federal and Provincial levels.
In recent times, the federal government has launched the Prime Minister’s Youth loan scheme a praiseworthy scheme while inviting applications from laid off youth to grant subsidized loans. This scheme however, holds the agenda of women empowerment as 50% of grants for women have been reserved however minorities’ quota has been utterly ignored. The religion-political sects of the society are now disapprove of the government’s negligence of minorities saying it has neglected the minorities and has not fixed any quota for minority community in this scheme.