Pakistani province announces plan to protect religious minorities
FREE Catholic Classes
A Pakistani official announced this week a new â€˝Minorities Empowerment Package" and the creation of a task force to ensure the rights of religious minorities in the province of Punjab.
Lahore, Pakistan, (CNA/EWTN News) - According to Dawn, Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Ijaz Augustine said the package will include new legislation and implement existing laws to assist religious minority communities.
A newly formed task force will be composed of professionals in human rights, law, and academics from a variety of religious communities, with the purpose of monitoring the implementation of human rights policies.
Augustine made the announcement at the Alhamra Arts Council with the Christian Care Foundation, coinciding with Human Rights Day on Dec. 10. The ceremony included the distribution of certificates for activists and employees of the human rights department.
The empowerment package will implement religious minority quotas in jobs, education, and housing. It also looks to establish a sentence remission system and skill development trainings. The money will be taken from a Minority Development Fund worth more than $3 million.
â€˝We are also focusing on skills development and have kept aside Rs25 million (nearly $180,000) for scholarships. We are also working on development and housing schemes specifically for the minority community," said Augustine, according to Dawn.
The minister said an action plan, drafted by the provincial Task Force on Human Rights, will aim to carry out the goals of the Punjab Human Rights Policy 2018.
â€˝We have also established a web-based Complaint Management System designed by the Punjab Information Technology Board for effective communication and resolution of human rights issues," he said.
A commission to oversee equality of religious freedom has been called for in the past. The Pakistani Supreme Court ordered the creation of a National Council for Minorities in 2014, but it was subsequently ignored by past governments.
The Pakistani constitution affirms Islam as the state religion, but articles in the document prohibit discrimination and aim to protect religious freedom of minorities.
In practice, however, â€˝the government of Pakistan has not addressed the spread of sectarian or religiously motivated intolerant speech and has not prosecuted perpetrators of violent crimes against religious minorities," according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The U.S. State Department this week declared Pakistan as one of 10 â€˝countries of particular concern" when it comes to religious freedom. The designation allows for further actions, including economic sanctions, by the United States.
In July during his presidential campaign, the Pakistani President Imran Kahn said he supported laws imposing strict penalties for blasphemy " including desecration of the Quran or insulting Muhammad.
While no one has been formally executed for the crime of blasphemy in Pakistan, mob killings have followed public accusations of blasphemy.
Servant of God Shahbaz Bhatti was Pakistan's Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs and the only Christian member of Pakistan's cabinet. He was killed by the Taliban in 2011 after showing support for Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who in 2010 was sentenced to death for blasphemy. She was acquitted in October 2018, but her life is still in danger, as the ruling is under government review as part of a deal to appease groups that were leading riots in the streets.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Kenya's High Court ruled Wednesday that rape victims whose pregnancy threatens their life or health have a right to procure abortion. ... continue reading
In an unprecedented gesture last month, Pope Francis kissed the feet of several South Sudanese leaders, who were visiting the Vatican for a ... continue reading
Pro-life advocates in Argentina have called for the acquittal of Dr. Leandro RodrÃguez Lastra, whose trial started May 13 in Rio Negro ... continue reading
In Bulgaria Sunday, Pope Francis said Catholics and Orthodox are united by the blood of the martyrs and the Christians who continue ... continue reading
They were founded three decades ago in southern Sudan, and named the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But in a region dramatically ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, June 18, 2019
- Guam's Catholics oppose governor's plan to expand abortion
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 HD Video
- St. Gregory Barbarigo: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, June 18, 2019
- Forum forms women in leadership, dignity, faith
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, June 17th, 2019 HD Video
- Polish priest ordained after cancer diagnosis dies
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, June 17th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, June 14th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, June 16th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.