Govt committed to provide equal opportunities to religious minorities: Ijaz Alam Augustine
LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs (HR&MA) Ijaz Alam Augustine has said the provincial government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan is dedicated to provide equal opportunities to the religious minorities and hopefully the minorities’ empowerment package will help marginalized religious communities of Punjab.
He said that the package included implementation of minorities’ quota for jobs and education, the system for remission of sentences, skill development training, minority quota in Naya Pakistan Housing scheme and introduction of religious education in the school of minorities.
The Minister HR&MA expressed these views while chairing a consultation meeting at new minister block’s office on Wednesday. Meeting attended by various representatives of civil society and officials of human rights department.
YDF Executive Director Shahid Rehmat shared with the participants that with the collaboration of the government of Punjab recently introduced an interfaith harmony policy that provided a framework and guidelines on how to promote diversity and a sense of security and ownership for all in the province. It also aims to create an environment where people from different religious, ethnic, sects and linguistic backgrounds could co-exist without fear and contribute to the progress of the country. Other representatives of civil society emphasized that the institutional protection for minorities would reduce human rights violations and would help improve relations between different faith groups.
Ijaz Alam Augustine said that minorities are enjoying equal rights in the province and the government was highly vigilant when it came to safeguarding their right. Whenever there is a conflict or fear of conflict, the government comes into action immediately and handles the situation in the best possible way, he said.
The PTI government would ensure social justice and fair distribution of socio-economic resources in order to promote tolerance and co-existence in society and eliminate the sense of insecurity and injustice among the religious minorities, he maintained.