Minority MPAs to protest during budget session

Under pressure, CM notifies Muslim minister to present Punjab budget.


Abdul Manan June 08, 2011

LAHORE:


Non-Muslim members of the Punjab Assembly will observe a token strike during June 10’s budget session in response to the Punjab government’s decision to disallow a Christian member from presenting the budget.


“Although the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has decided there will be no desk thumping during the speech, minority members will protest in front of the assembly speaker’s dais and wear black armbands,” PPP MPA Parvez Rafique, who is also a member of the central organising committee of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, told The Express Tribune. “They will speak on points of order and record their sentiments regarding the Punjab government’s discrimination against the Christian community.”

The provincial government has withdrawn the additional charge of finance and planning and development department from Kamran Michael, who is the only Christian minister in the Punjab cabinet. A Muslim minister, Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, has been appointed in his place and will now present the budget.

Michael, who belongs to the PML-N, is the provincial minister for human rights and minorities and was proposed to present the budget. But, according to sources within the PML-N, some party legislators expressed reservations over a non-Muslim presenting the budget, fearing it could upset their ‘conservative’ vote bank. Sources said party workers have forced Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to appoint Rehman.

Punjab’s three previous budgets were presented by former finance minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira of the PPP. However, as PML-N kicked PPP out of the provincial cabinet, the CM’s senior adviser Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa was given charge. After two weeks, Michael was appointed to head the ministry.

Rafique said that eight Punjab Assembly members, who are on reserved seats, have committed that they will stage a protest. “The budget is for all people of the province, including minorities,” he said.





Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2011.

COMMENTS (6)

Nasir | 10 years ago | Reply @Rashid Khan: Why not Kamran Michael? Are you fanatic? What are you talking...? This country is for every person who is born here even they belong from any color cast or creed this is not fair, this is not fair my brother, in your life there is so many uncertainties kindly confiscate your misgivings He is talented, potential and aggressive personality your are not following the country rules and regulations. Kindly talk in senseable way doesn’t become frustrate and trembling mind. I think you’re thinking not like a Pakistani? If you will Pakistani then you should know the statement of our founder of Pakistan. Our Founder’s said: On 11 August, 1947 Pakistan’s founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, otherwise known as Quaid-e-Azam, said these words: "You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the state ...". The Pakistani Minorities is working to support the people, particularly the religious minorities, of Pakistan in achieving Jinnah’s vision.
MAS | 10 years ago | Reply As Kamran Michael is going to present the provincial budget of Punjab tomorrow, will the tribune management take action against its imbibe reporter abdul manan for filing wrong, misleading and concocted stories aiming to divide the social fabric of society. It appears that tribune is working for R.A.W and C.I.A to hedge the country.
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