Pakistan Christian Post Is Your Voice Since 2001

PMTA Chief presents recommendation to Prime Minister for tolerant Pakistan

Faisalabad: March 16, 2017. (PCP) Professor Anjum James Paul, Chairman Pakistan Minorities Teachers Association PMTA have paid homage to Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif on his speech delivered in Karachi on occasion of the festival of Holi on March 14, 2017.

Mian Nawaz Sharif said in his speech “No one can force others to adopt a certain religion”. There was sense of inclusiveness and tolerance in his address which drew the attention of the participants. He added “My foremost duty as a ruler is to serve followers of all religions and not one in particular….God will not ask a ruler what he did for followers of a certain religion. He will ask people such as me: what did we do for God’s creation?.... Some people wear a turban. Some wear a chogha. Others wear a suit and tie, and some wear shalwar kameez....These are all creations of God. And that's fine. This is a freedom given to us by God. Who are we to take it away?” quoted Professor Paul

Pakistan Minorities Teachers' Association (PMTA) is making efforts since 2004 for education reforms in Pakistan. Pakistani education system and particularly textbooks violate fundamental human rights of religious minority students. Besides this, textbooks promote extremism, violence and intolerance against non-Muslims and non-Islamic religions. PMTA has prepared 18 research based documents on the textbooks of Pakistan identifying biases against non-Muslims and non-Islamic religions. There are some positive changes as well by the efforts of PMTA. PMTA is also making efforts to address the violation of human rights and raises voices through different means.

Professor Anjum in a letter wrote to Prime Minister of Pakistan reminding contents of his speech at Karachi that “Sir, you have also quoted Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and said, "If a place of worship of a non-Muslim is damaged in an Islamic country, Islamic government....I will fight their case myself on the Day of Judgment." You have added, “I am a follower of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), if there is anyone in unjustly treated, it is my duty to stand by them.”

“Sir, there is a segment that hates the very sight of religious minorities. You are the guardian of all Pakistanis. So, being guardian, it is utmost need of the time to address all the genuine grievances of the Pakistani religious minorities as you have said in your address, “I am a follower of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), if there is anyone in unjustly treated, it is my duty to stand by them.” Professor Anjum writes in his letter

For inclusive and tolerant Pakistan can become a reality only then when there is implementation on the following recommendations.

• Appropriate measures must be taken to protect social, political, economic, religious and educational rights of religious minorities as guaranteed in the Constitution.

• Textbooks must be unbiased, without ambiguity, value based and according to article 22 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan avoiding forced conversion.

• There must be arrangements for the subject of “Religion” instead of “Ethics” as it is in the case of “Islamic Education” for Muslim students.

• All hate material against non-Islamic religions, non-Muslims, non-Islamic cultures and non-Islamic civilizations must be removed from the textbooks.

• 20 additional marks must be awarded to non-Muslim students as well as it is in the case of Muslim students who recite the Holy Quran by heart.

• There must be arrangements to protect the worship places and Holy Books of religious minorities from desecration.

• There must be ban on media that propagates against any religion.

• There must be at least 5 percent reserved seats for the religious minorities in the National Assembly, Senate and provincial assemblies.

• Stern action must be taken against those who abduct, forcibly convert and forcibly marry minor girls and women who become victim on the basis of religion and openly violate Child Marriage Restraint Act under the umbrella of religion.

• At least 5 percent quota must be allocated for minority students in the professional institutions.

• 5 percent quota must be allocated in all jobs because mostly posts of sanitary workers are reserved for minorities and they are ignored in the other posts.

Herewith are full contents of letter of Professor Anjum Paul to PM Pakistan:

Ref.No.PMTA/28/17-KPR Dated: March 16, 2017

To

Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif

Prime Minister of Pakistan

Prime Minister’s Secretariat

Islamabad

Subject: - RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INCLUSIVE AND TOLERANT PAKISTAN

Honourable Sir,

Greetings and peace from Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA).

PMTA would like to draw your kind attention on the subject cited above.

Sir, Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association highly appreciates your historical address delivered in Karachi on the occasion of the festival of Holi on March 14, 2017. You have well said, “No one can force others to adopt a certain religion”. There was sense of inclusiveness and tolerance in your address and each word drew the attention of the participants. You said, “My foremost duty as a ruler is to serve followers of all religions and not one in particular….God will not ask a ruler what he did for followers of a certain religion. He will ask people such as me: what did we do for God’s creation?.... Some people wear a turban. Some wear a chogha. Others wear a suit and tie, and some wear shalwar kameez....These are all creations of God. And that's fine. This is a freedom given to us by God. Who are we to take it away?”

Sir, you have also quoted Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and said, "If a place of worship of a non-Muslim is damaged in an Islamic country, Islamic government....I will fight their case myself on the Day of Judgment." You have added, “I am a follower of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), if there is anyone in unjustly treated, it is my duty to stand by them.”

Sir, you have further said in your address, “On the one hand, there are people who want to see the country prosper; on the other, there are people who want to create divisions….All religions in the world teach respect for humanity. Islam teaches respect for all religions…. No matter what religion or beliefs you follow, or what part of the country you belong to, you must be provided equal access to progress and development…. Pakistan was not made so one religion can dominate over others…. Religion does not force anyone to do anything, let alone forcing anyone to adopt a certain religion.”

Sir, there is a segment that hates the very sight of religious minorities. You are the guardian of all Pakistanis. So, being guardian, it is utmost need of the time to address all the genuine grievances of the Pakistani religious minorities as you have said in your address, “I am a follower of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), if there is anyone in unjustly treated, it is my duty to stand by them.”

Sir, your vision for inclusive and tolerant Pakistan can become a reality only then when there is implementation on the following recommendations.

• Appropriate measures must be taken to protect social, political, economic, religious and educational rights of religious minorities as guaranteed in the Constitution.

• Textbooks must be unbiased, without ambiguity, value based and according to article 22 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan avoiding forced conversion.

• There must be arrangements for the subject of “Religion” instead of “Ethics” as it is in the case of “Islamic Education” for Muslim students.

• All hate material against non-Islamic religions, non-Muslims, non-Islamic cultures and non-Islamic civilizations must be removed from the textbooks.

• 20 additional marks must be awarded to non-Muslim students as well as it is in the case of Muslim students who recite the Holy Quran by heart.

• There must be arrangements to protect the worship places and Holy Books of religious minorities from desecration.

• There must be ban on media that propagates against any religion.

• There must be at least 5 percent reserved seats for the religious minorities in the National Assembly, Senate and provincial assemblies.

• Stern action must be taken against those who abduct, forcibly convert and forcibly marry minor girls and women who become victim on the basis of religion and openly violate Child Marriage Restraint Act under the umbrella of religion.

• At least 5 percent quota must be allocated for minority students in the professional institutions.

• 5 percent quota must be allocated in all jobs because mostly posts of sanitary workers are reserved for minorities and they are ignored in the other posts.

With best regards.

PROF. ANJUM JAMES PAUL

CHAIRMAN