Concern over merger of ministries

ISLAMABAD, June 23: Chairman All Pakistan Minorities Association (APMA) Dr Paul Bhatti on Sunday voiced serious concern over merger of ministry of national harmony into religious affairs.

Addressing a news conference at National Press Club, he said with the merger, the ministry of national harmony would lose the purpose of its creation—to ensure protection of minorities’ rights.

Minorities had been ignored for years, he said adding last parliament had decided to increase the number of special seats for minorities but could not pass the resolution for lack of quorum.

“We have only 10 special seats for minorities and no one has taken serious step to increase them,” he said.

While replying to questions, Mr Bhatti said during his tenure as in-charge minister of ministry of national harmony, a number of steps had been taken for the betterment of minorities.

“I got Forced Conversions and Marriage Act passed by the Parliament. I also resisted illegal use of blasphemy act,” he claimed.

He said killings in Quetta and Karachi and the recent ones in Gilgit-Baltistan were the acts of anti-state elements.

“We can only resolve our issues by enforcing law all over the country in letter and sprit,” he said.—A Reporter

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