LAHORE: Several minority representatives on Thursday welcomed the federal cabinet’s decision to increase seats reserved for minorities in the parliament proportionate to their population. Bishop of Lahore Alexander John Malik said the government had fulfilled a longstanding demand of the minorities. Describing it as a step that will promote equality and harmony,” he said, “Unfortunately previous governments did not give the matter its due importance.” He added that this will boost the minorities’ confidence in the country and make them more loyal. The Bishop said while increasing the seats, the government should adopt principles of neutrality and fair play. Kalyan Singh, a former Gurdwara Parbandak Committee president, said that only “devout followers of a religion” should be given the seats. He said there have been incidents where “opportunists” had claimed to belong to a particular religion and gotten representation in the parliament. “Only those who have followed a religion for at least three generations should be considered for the seats,” said Singh.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.
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