Professor Anjum Paul writes PM Pakistan to implement National Action Plan with letter and spirit


Faisalabad: December 31, 2015. (PCP) In a letter No. PMTA/73-78/15, dated December 28, 2015 to Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Professor Anjum James Paul, Chairman Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA) has requested to implement National Action Plan with letter and spirit. Chairman PMTA has emphasized on two points of the National Action Plan which are countering hate speech and extremist material and the other one to take steps against religious persecution The content of the letter is; Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Prime Minister of Pakistan Islamabad. Subject:- PAKISTANI TEXTBOOKS A HINDRANCE IN THE NATIONAL ACTION PLAN Honourable Sir, Greetings and peace from Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA). PMTA would like to draw your kind attention on the subject cited above. PMTA has already brought in your kind notice in a letter No. PMTA/24/14, Dated December 26, 2014 on “National Action Plan and utmost need to remove extremism from the present Pakistani textbooks” immediately after the announcement of 20 points agenda of National Action Plan on December 24, 2014. Two points are reminded below of the National Action Plan; 1. Countering hate speech and extremist material 2. Steps against religious persecution Firstly, It is so sorry that textbooks published by all four Textbook Boards and National Book Foundation Islamabad have published and promoted hate and extremist material even after the launching of National Action Plan. Secondly, Steps have not been taken against religious persecution as there is still violation of Article 22 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan that guarantees; “No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own”. Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association has already mailed you twelve research based documents on the Pakistani textbooks published in 2013-2015. On November 16, 2015, PMTA mailed you a document “Pakistani Textbooks A Threat To The Lives And Believes of Non-Muslims” and a documentary “Pakistani Textbooks A Question Mark For Non-Muslims” which present that Pakistani textbooks are a threat to the lives and believes of non-Muslims. Pakistani non-Muslims students are forcibly preached the beliefs of the majority religion of Pakistan, violating Article 22 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan. There are cake cutting ceremonies held by the federal and provincial governments of Pakistan on the religious festivals of Pakistani non-Muslims. This is a good gesture to show social harmony but more important is to grant equal citizenship and equal rights to all Pakistanis indiscriminatory as guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan. Pakistani non-Muslim school going girls are insecure on the basis of religion. Their beliefs are not protected even in the educational institutions. Sana Shahid, a 13 years old Christian student of grade 6 was abducted, converted to Islam and forcibly married in Sialkot on the very same day on November 9, 2015. She has not yet been recovered because she belongs to a Christian family. Non-Muslim parents are fearful regarding the protection of their daughters because they can be deprived of their beloved daughters while sending them to schools. Many non-Muslims parents have stopped educating their daughters due to certain fears. Sir, you have a vision to send all Pakistani girls to schools. How can it be possible when Pakistani non-Muslim girls students are unsafe and do not go to school? PMTA requests you to take measures for the religious freedom and protection of non-Muslims at all levels and to take strict actions against such persons and institutions who are enemies of Pakistani non-Muslims and a hindrance in the implementation of National Action Plan It is also requested to make production orders of Sana Shahid, a teenage Christian student who is being raped and to return her to her parents who are going through agony so that she may again start her education. With best regards. PROF. ANJUM JAMES PAUL CHAIRMAN

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