LAHORE: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has directed the authorities concerned to compile data of non-Muslim employees across the province to ensure protection of their rights.
The CM gave the direction during a meeting with a delegation of the National Commission for Minority Rights, led by Dr Shoaib Suddle, who called on him at his office on Friday.
The meeting discussed the provision of facilities and matters regarding welfare of the minorities.
Mr Buzdar said Punjab was being made a model when it came to protection of the minorities’ rights while the Punjab Minority Empowerment Package would prove to be an exemplary programme with regard to minorities’ welfare. He said Youhanabad would be made a model area with an amount of Rs300m.
The CM sought appointment of a provincial focal person for timely resolution of minorities’ issues, saying that the employees belonging to the minority communities be given official holidays on their religious days. He said non-Muslim students were being given educational scholarships worth Rs25m while another amount of Rs25m would be distributed among the non-Muslim research scholars and postgraduate students as scholarships.
Mr Buzdar talked about a proposal to exempt non-Muslim students from appearing in the competitive examinations during their religious festivals and events. He said lands reserved for the minorities in the province were being retrieved from squatters and asked the police officers to personally check the security of churches.
Dr Suddle apprised the CM of the objectives of the commission and added that Punjab would emerge as a model with regard to the protection of rights and provision of facilities to non-Muslim communities.
MNA Ramesh Kumar, Saqib Jillani advocate, minorities minister Ijaz Alam, ACS (Home), administrative secretaries and others attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2019