LAHORE: The minorities day passed unnoticed by the state and society on August11.In spite of the sensitivities affiliated with minorities’ rights in global politics, our state is indifferent regarding their basic rights and necessitates as citizens of Pakistan. This was observed by abdul Hafeez Qazi, Project officer at Organization for Research and Education (ORE), a civil society organization working for minorities’ rights.in Pakistan.”Yuhanna Abad is a Christian town in the heart of Lahore. It is provincial constituency of the Chief Minister. This area is deprived of the basic civic requirements. The streets become ponds in rainy days making almost impossible for pedestrians to walk. There is no dispensary in the area, observed by A Hafeez after a visit of Behar Colony and Yuhanna Abad in Lahore. The issue of minorities’ rights needs government’s attention if it goes for further subsidies.
Minorities comprise almost 4% of Pakistan’s population. They are scattered in different areas of Pakistan. After Karachi, they are mostly populated in Punjab.812 out of 1,000 Christians live in Punjab, a study says. The religious minorities are vulnerable due to a number of reasons.
1. Major portion of their population belongs to the underprivileged class of society .Being a weaker part, they are easy target for social, economic and political victimization.
2. Being adherents of ‘other’ religions, the some radical Muslims does not accept them as equal citizens .This mindset adversely affects the social fabric.
3. According to the pre dominant religious discourse, the world is going through a global war between Islam and the West or rest of the world. In this discourse, Christians and Jews cannot be friends of Muslims. Due to these reasons, minorities are living in miserable conditions. Apparently they have accepted it as their fate. It seems they have lost the hope. In some parts we see violent conflicts but in many areas they are in depression. They cannot assert themselves .With introduction of joint electorate system, they have equal vote with the majority but the political parties did not go through any transformation. For example, these parties did not award tickets to the minority candidates in general elections. “This shows any legislation is not result oriented if it is not supported by the people and social environment. Therefore a comprehensive movement is indispensable to make minorities equal citizens of the country” opined. PR Khurshid Nadeem , an Islamic scholar and columnist. An open dialogue is imperative amongst different segments of society in the light of Quid e Azam’s promise made with minorities on August11, 1947, he asserted.