“Role of minorities in Pakistan” has become the part of the Pakistani textbooks by the constant efforts of Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA) in chapter 8 ‘Population, Society and Culture of Pakistan’ in the subject of Pakistan Studies (Compulsory) for grade 10, Edition March 2013, Publisher: Gohar Publishers, 11- Urdu Bazar, Lahore and has been approved by the Punjab Curriculum Authority, Wahdat Road, Lahore. The speech of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that he delivered on August 11, 1947 in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan along with an interview on minorities has been included in detail. The role of prominent personalities in different fields from the minorities has been included in the nation building. This content will be published in all the textbooks of Pakistan of Pakistan Studies for grade 10 by all the Textbook Boards of Pakistan.
Professor Anjum James Paul, Chairman Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA) said ‘Role of minorities in the creation of Pakistan’ has also become the part of Pakistani textbooks in chapter 5 ‘ Struggle for Pakistan’ in the subject of History for grade-VIII, First Edition 2014, Code 521, Publisher: National Book Foundation.
He further said that ‘Role of minorities in Pakistan’ will be a source of lessening bigotry against Christians, Hindus, Sikhs who are persecuted and discriminated in certain ways in Pakistan. It is utmost need to remove all hate based material against the Pakistani minorities and baseless propagation against their beliefs.
Professor Paul further said that the National Education Policy 2009, National Curriculum 2006-2007 and textbooks of Pakistan violate Article 22 (1) of the constitution of Pakistan 1973 that describes, “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.” It is demanded to remove all such material from the National Education Policy 2009, National Curriculum 2006-2007 and textbooks of Pakistan that violate the constitution of Pakistan.
The following material is the part of the textbook
‘Role of Minorities in Pakistan
The rights of the minorities have been fully protected in the 1973 constitution of Pakistan. According to the constitution , they have full rights. They have complete liberty to worship according to their religious, perform customs, transmit and publish their religious principles and set up their own religious organizations. They have been given separate representation in Pakistan’s constitution. The government abolished the separate system of elections and put into practice the mixed system of elections. In this way, the long awaited demand of the minorities was fulfilled. In the National Assembly ten seats have been reserved for the minorities; in the Punjab Assembly 8, Sindh Assembly 9, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly 11 and Balochistan Assembly 3 seats have been reserved. In our federal and provincial cabinets, mostly a non-Muslim minister is included. In the economic field too, citizens are given equal opportunities so that they can improve their financial conditions.
To obtain government employment, the minorities have the same rights as the Muslims. The constitution of Pakistan provides equal political, economic and social rights to all citizens because of which good citizenship is promoted. The minorities living in Pakistan should be aware of their rights and responsibilities. It is their responsibility to be faithful to their country. Rising above all kinds of prejudices, they must elect a people’s representative who should work for the country’s stability.
Status of the minorities in the light of the Quaid-e-Azam’s (RA) speech on 11th August,1947
On 11th August 1947 the Quaid-e-Azam (RA) while making a speech regarding the place of minorities said:
After the partition of India, for minorities to be in one state or the other was inevitable. Every one of you whether the first, second or last citizen of this state has equal rights, privileges, and obligations. No matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste and creed, no matter what community he belongs there will be no end to the progress you make. In this state of Pakistan you are free. Go to your temples, mosques or other places of worship. The running of the state has nothing to do with the religion, caste, creed or faith you belong to.
As you know with regard to history, some time ago, the conditions in England were worse than what exists in today’s India. Roman Catholics and Protestants committed atrocities against one another. Even today, there are countries where a specific sect faces discrimination and restrictions are imposed on its members. By the grace of Allah, we are starting our journey in such conditions and in an age where such discrimination is not encouraged. No distinction is made between different castes and faiths. We are taking a start with this basic principle that we are equal citizens of our state.
A journalist asked the Quaid-e-Azam (RA) “Can you give a brief statement, as the governor general, about the problems of minorities?”
The Quaid-e-Azam replied: Presently, I am a nominated governor general (Let us assume for a moment that on 15th August, 1947 I shall actually be the governor general of Pakistan).
After this assumption, let me tell you that the minorities will be protected. No matter which faith they belong to. Their religion and faith will be safe in their freedom to worship, There will be no interference in their freedom to worship. Their religions, faiths, their life and their culture will be secure. Without any discrimination of caste and creed and faith, in all respects, they shall be citizens of Pakistan. They will be provided with rights and privileges. Minorities will play their role in the affairs of the state as long as they are faithful and well- wishers of the state in the true sense. As long as I have power, they should not have any doubts. I expect that the Muslims in India will receive the same kind of fair treatment that we intend to give the non- Muslim minorities.
The minorities have always tried to perform prominently in all the fields, In the field of law, the name of Justice AR Cornelius does not need any introduction. He has rendered invaluable services. He had experience in Shariah and Fiqa. He was the chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He played a major role in compiling the 1973 constitution. Justice Badi-uz- Zaman Kakaos had great knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah. He remained the judge of the Supreme Court for eight years. Justice (Retd) Rana Bhagwan Das was a judge in the Supreme Court too. Doctor Abdus Salam rendered important services in Physics.
Group Captain Eric Gardenhall, Wing Commander Nazeer Latif, Wing Commander Marvin Middlecoat, Squadron Leader Peter Christie and Flight Lieutenant William, D. Harrow Leigh received high civil and military awards for their excellent performances. Harcharan Singh was the first Sikh officer to be included in the Pakistan Army.
In the field of health, Doctor Ruth Ffau worked for the leprosy patients till her death. Doctor Drago of Mirpurkhas was especially famous for treating poor patients. He received the Presidential Award too.
In the field of sports, Anil Dalpat, Danish Kaneria and Anthony D’Souza in cricket. Michael Masih in football, whereas in yachting Behram D. Avari are famous names.’
Professor Paul, Chairman PMTA said that there is need to add some more prominent personalities in the text and to correct the numbers, spellings and names in the text.1. Instead of ‘Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly’ on page 116, line 25, it must be ‘Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly 3’. 2. Instead of ‘worship,’ ’ on page 117, line 27, it must be ‘worship.’ 3. Instead of ‘chief Justice’ ’ on page 118, line 3, it must be ‘Chief Justice’. 4. Instead of ‘Doctor Ruth Ffau’ on page 118, line 12, it must be ‘Doctor Ruth Fau’ 5. Instead of ‘Danish Kaneria’ on page 118, line 15, it must be ‘Danesh Kaneria’.