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Rawadari Tehreek urges government to end Religious Card but focus on human rights

Lahore: September 7, 2018. (PCP) Rwadari Tehreek Central Executive Committee urges Imran Khan Government and mainstream political parties to End the use of “Religious Card” in Politics as a tool and to focus on human rights protection and eradication of extremism, religious intolerance and terrorism.

Rwadari Tehreek Central Executive Committee (CEC) held its Annual Meeting on September 6, 2018 at Lahore which was chaired by Samson Salamat, the Chairman of Rwadari Tehreek and was participated by the honourable members of the Committee from Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Baluchistan including Deedar Ahmed Mirani (Vice Chairman), Umar Farooq (Secretary General), Rashid Bashir Chatha (Senior Vice President), Umme Kalsoom (Vice President), Asmat Sabira (President Punjab), Rana Irfan (Spokesperson) and other honorable members Asfaryar Khan, and Zafar Iqbal Khatak, Seema Sheikh, Nabila Aslam, and Munzaza Bukhari, Umair Ahmad and other members.

CEC meeting was held to review the current socio-political situation of the country, especially the rise of religious intolerance, discrimination, violent extremism and terrorism in the society and issues related to the protection of human rights. The CEC also worked and finalized the Action Plan for future for the eradication of hate speech, discrimination and intolerance on the basis of religion and violent extremism and for promoting pluralism, respect of diversity and interfaith harmony in the society.

CEC formally congratulated the newly elected Federal and Provincial Governments and hoped that their governments will do their best to protect the rights of the people and suggested that the Federal Government should hold a dialogue with the political parties to End the use of Religious Card in Politics as tool which is adding fuel to the already highly intolerant Pakistani society.

CEC noted that even after three years to the National Action Plan, the leaders and activists of the banned terrorist outfits are openly holding rallies, meetings and other activities and even were allowed to run in the Elections and the relevant state institutions, especially the Election Commission of Pakistan remained failed to scrutinize the process properly. Therefore, the CEC called upon the government and state institutions to take indiscriminate action against the individuals or the groups who are involved in hate speech, and terrorist activities and are killing people in the name of religion or sect. CEC also demanded special measures during the month of Moharam to avoid any unpleasant situation as experienced in the past during Moharam.

CEC during the meeting also expressed concerns over the shrinking space for civil society and threat to the lives of those working for human rights and fundamental freedoms and demanded that the issue of the life, liberty and security of every citizens, particularly of human rights defenders should be protected. The Federal Government must address the issue of missing persons seriously and all the missing persons should be recovered and presented before the honourable courts and those responsible for any unconstitutional and illegal acts should be held accountable.

CEC in particular drew the attention of the Government on the rights of the marginalized communities including religions minorities, women, children and trans-genders, workers and labourers and demanded proper policies and strategies for the protection and promotion of their rights. CEC also demanded an attention of the Government to address the grievances of the small provinces and solve the issues related to the fair distribution of resources.

Members of the Central Executive Committee of Rwadari Tehreek at the end of the meeting once again pledged to continue their struggle across Pakistan to undo the culture of hatred, violence and extremism.

Rwadari Tehreek (Movement for Pluralism) is a non-violent social movement which began in 2015 in Pakistan and aims to generate a debate on the importance of religious tolerance and respect of diversity in a multi-religious society and to remind the government, political forces, state institutions and other stake-holders their responsibilities to seriously address trends of hatred, violent extremism and intolerance in the society which has created an atmosphere of fear among the citizens and have riddled the public life, particularly of those belonging to religious minorities.

Members of Rwadari Tehreek belong to different faiths and segments of the society including students, teachers, social and political activists, religious scholars and leaders, journalists, lawyers, doctors, and artists and contribute their time and energy in promoting the aims and objectives of Rwadari Tehreek on voluntarily basis.

Rwadari Tehreek is a joint initiative of civil society groups and like-minded individuals who believe on pluralism, respect of diversity, human rights and fundamental freedoms and envision for making Pakistan a peaceful society for everyone without any discrimination.