LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly was told on Monday that government had no intention to fix jobs quota for eunuchs as they had not registered themselves with the department concerned in sufficient number.

The House was also informed that government was considering doing away with 20 extra marks for Hafiz-e-Quran students for being discriminatory with the non-Muslim students.  

In respect of eunuchs, Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs, Tahir Khalil Sindhu told the House that they were entitled to get jobs in government departments on open merit by competing with other genders.

He was responding to a question by Raheela Anwar of PTI. She wanted to know the exact number of eunuchs in Punjab and the actions government had taken for their welfare including provision of jobs in provincial departments.

The minister informed the Assembly that federal government conducted census in 1998 by counting only the men and women and hence there was no authentic data available about their number. However, according to a recent survey conducted by Social Welfare department on the orders of Supreme Court some 2467 eunuchs had been registered with the department, he said, adding that many still were not inclined to getting themselves registered with the department.

He build the argument that since the number of registered eunuchs was very small, the government could not fix a quota of jobs fro them. The minister also said that his department was making efforts to work for the welfare of all people irrespective of their caste, creed and colour.

Shehzad Monshi, a legislator representing minorities in Punjab Assembly, drew chair’s attention towards an injustice being meted out to non-Muslim students. He said that Muslim students were being awarded 20 extra marks at the time of interview for admission in educational institutions if they were Hafize Quran. He said it was discriminatory and non-Muslim students could not compete with Muslim students. Agreeing with the contention of the minority legislator, Tahir Khalil Sindhu told the chair that Government had constituted Minority Advisory Committee to sort out this anomaly. He also told the House that curriculum was being reviewed at various levels to strike out the hate material fanning intolerance in society.

While responding to a call attention notice, Punjab Home Minister, Mujtaba Khanzada told the House that a significant decrease in the crime rate had been observed in Punjab after the implementation of National Action Plan. He said the law and order situation would improve further by December this year.

Dr Wasim Akhtar, the sole representative of Jamat-e-Islami in the Assembly, raised the issue of appointing a new leader of the opposition after resignation of the PTI legislators. He also pleaded that the office of chairman of Public Accounts Committee-I held by Mehmoodur Rashid of PTI should also be filled by some other legislator from the opposition to make the body functional. Responding to this, Law Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said that government had already referred the matter to the law department for legal opinion.

Earlier, quorum broke in the House after 15 minutes of proceedings and it took around half an hour for the Treasury to complete it. Nine reports on the accounts of different provincial departments were also laid in the House for debate. Speaking on a point of order, Amir Sultan Cheema of PML-Q pointed out that a similar number of reports were also laid in the House last year but they were not taken up by the Assembly.  Acting Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani assured him that he would look into the issue.   

The House would now meet on Thursday at 3 pm.