LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Finance, Minorities Affairs and Human Rights, Kamran Michael has said that not only are non-Muslims ineligible to become the President, a recent Constitutional Reforms Committee decisions has also made them ineligible to stand a chance of taking the Prime Minister’s slot as well.
Michael, who himself was the centre of a storm when he was first asked to present the Punjab budget. Being a Christian, he was superseded at the behest of some Punjab assembly members who did not think a Christian ought to be charged with such an important task. The Chief Minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif finally charged with presenting the budget after media reports highlighted religious discrimination within his earlier decision. Michael became the first non-Muslim finance minister to present the provincial budget.
Michael said that though minorities may follow a different religion to the official one, but as Pakistanis they were are as patriotic as anyone else. Reacting to celebrating August 11 as Minorities Day, he said that it was grave injustice to fix only one day for hundreds of thousands of members of the society who belong to different religions as it promotes a feeling being left out, that they are not Pakistanis and it is not their country.
The Minister further said that minorities are an integral part of Pakistani society and they have their roots in this land and they also rendered sacrifices for the creation of Pakistan. He said that minorities are not the custodian of only one day but 365 days of the year as they are a part of Pakistani nation.
He said that it is an injustice that despite being patriotic Pakistanis, members of minority groups are still considered unequal citizens. Kamran Michael further said that the speech of Quaid-e-Azam on August 11, 1947 should be made a part of the constitution of Pakistan to remove the sense of insecurity within minority communities and they should be eligible for the office of president and prime minister of Pakistan.
Kamran Michael said that Quaid-e-Azam was that leader of every Pakistani and his principles should be followed so that Pakistan could be made a welfare state.