Karachi: Minorities should be treated equally and instead of contesting polls on the reserved seats they should be allowed to contest elections on general seats as well in upcoming local bodies’ election in the province.
These views were expressed by the participants of a meeting over ‘new challenges for Pakistan’s minorities and ways to address them,’ convened by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) at a local hotel on Thursday.
Activists and members of the HRCP from Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan participated in the meeting and a range of issues concerning the minority communities in the country were discussed.
Expressing his views, HRCP Official from Lahore, Najamuddin said that minorities are part of our society and they should be considered as equal citizens of the country. He said that even in areas of interior Sindh, where minority groups are in majority, the political parties are hesitant to award them tickets on general seats.
Representative of Urban Resource Centre, Zahid Farooq said that there was no ban on giving ticket to a minority citizen on general seats in local bodies’ election and therefore it would be a test for political parties that how well they would represent minorities in the elections.
He suggested that HRCP should write letters to political parties in order to urge them for giving more representation to minorities.
Another speaker, Karamat Ali said that minorities should get representation in their majority areas so that they could easily resolve their matters. He further suggested that the instead of writing letters to political parties, a committee of HRCP should meet leaders of political parties and con vey their message.
The speakers at the seminar also called for controlling hate speech against minorities and said that government should take action against groups and individuals who are spreading hate speech and literature.