Minority vote can ‘influence’ election results

LAHORE - Pattan Development Organisation organised a dialogue here the other day to promote interfaith harmony, says a press release.

Speaking on the occasion, lawmakers from Lahore, Faisalabad, Nankana, Chiniot and Khanewal were present. Those who participated in the discussion were Rabia Ghani, Mary Gill, PML-N MPA Shehzad Munshi, Dr Noshin Hamid, Sadia Sohail of the PTI, councillors from five districts of Punjab, Pattan Action Group members and media representatives.

The speakers laid stressed on stepping up efforts for promotion of interfaith harmony and ensuring equal rights to all citizens.

Rabia Ghani said: “It’s the right time to take concrete steps to build social harmony. For this purpose, political parties must issue tickets to minority members on general seats where they have significant population.”  The religious minorities demand direct elections for their representation. It was highlighted that 98 National Assembly constituencies had a significant number of minority voters in Pakistan and in 23 of these constituencies they had substantial chances of victory.

The participants agreed that solution to the problems confronting the minorities is in the political process.

Pattan and participants in the dialogue shared a charter of demands with MPs, calling for evaluation of the 6th census (religion and transgender and disability columns), sensitising police and court officials about rights of minorities and formation of a rapid response team.

The demands included implementation of job quota in letter and spirit, dividing job quota equally for men and women. Nadra and ECP were urged to launch a special campaign to register religious minorities.

The government was asked to ensure provision of basic facilities like clean drinking water and BHUs/clinics to people.

Sensitisation of school faculty and ministerial staff about minimising the discrimination the minorities faced in schools was also essential. The MPs assured the participants of taking up the issue with the quarters concerned.




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