Speakers term Minority Commission biased

Say it has not been established by parliament


Our Correspondent October 15, 2021
PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR:

Speakers on Thursday blamed that the Minority Commission is a biased and government-controlled body and has direct involvement of the government in its structure.

They said there is an alarming situation of the forced conversions and marriages of the women and minor girls belonging to the religious minorities in Pakistan. And the commission formed by the federal government is also silent.

They said that the fear of kidnapping and conversion has forced Hindu and Sikh families to stop their girls from going to schools and there is an atmosphere of fear in the minority communities.

They were speaking at a consultative conference organized by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCPJ) on the topic of ‘forced conversion of women belonging to the religious minorities and the role of the National Minority Commission’ in Peshawar Thursday.

Speakers including MPA Ravi Kumar, Marriam Bibi, MPA Shagufta Malik, Haroon Sarabdyal, MPA Wilson Wazir, and Kashif Aslam of NCJP shared their concerns and grievances on the plight of the women of the religious minorities in Pakistan.

Read Parliamentary committee rejects anti-forced conversion bill

They said that patriarchy is the root cause of their woes and being exploited by religious fanatics and radicals.

Surprisingly, our governments on this important issue are silent, and not even a statement of condemnation on the cases of forced conversion is issued, they said, adding that even the commission formed by the federal government for the religious minorities, which is meant to be a commission to take notice on such issues and discrimination, is powerless and toothless.

Such commissions should be impartial, independent, and autonomous statutory bodies and in line with the international instruments such as the ‘Paris Principles’, which gives us a clear way and wisdom to establish the commissions on human rights overall, the speakers added.

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