The Sindh Assembly on Thursday adopted a private bill ‘The Sindh Minorities Rights Commission 2015′ into law to help recognize and guarantee religious minorities’ rights officially besides ending discriminations and inequality against them.
After said adoption, it will be called ‘The Sindh Minorities Rights Commission Act, 2015′, and to be enforced across the province at once.
Parliamentary Leader of the PML-F Nand Kumar Goklani had tabled the bill in the house last year, which was referred to the assembly’s concerned standing committee for a review.
That committee presented its report in the house to help adopt the bill unanimously. Now a minorities’ rights commission can be formed to deal with the issues of religious subgroups entertaining their complaints.
The proposed commission will have 11 members of which six with chairperson from the minorities and 33 percent women.
“To provide a platform to look into various grievances of the minority communities and to monitor and suggest the mechanism for accelerating pace of socio-economic development of minority communities and for the promotion and protection of the identity of minorities at provincial level, the setting up of Sindh Minority Rights Commission is very much essential,” says the bill preamble.
Goklani whose PMLF is an opposition party in Sindh said that the passage of the bill had proved that minorities also had their rights and those were protected fully.
He thanked the treasury benches particularly PPP’s Nisar Khuhro and Dr Sikandar Mandhro and lauded Speaker Sindh Assembly saying that without the majority’s support, bill would not have been turned into law.
Kumar also slammed the Indian military aggression along the LoC that left seven Pak Army personnel martyred as a result. He censured the US President-elect Donald Trump for his speeches against the minorities during the election campaign.
Sindh Senior Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nisar Khuhro said that the Sindh Assembly deserved praise for huge efforts to help adopt the bill although it was tabled by a private member.
In a bid to ensure a fast trial of offenders of violations against the religious minorities, the government in consultation with the Chief Justice of Sindh High Court would set up a human rights court if did not exist yet.
The government will allocate budgets for the commission every fiscal year and grants to help it govern in line with the law.
“The formation of the Sindh Minority Rights Commission will be a driving force to counter the propaganda of human rights violations of minorities in Sindh,” according to the bill’s objects and reasons that also reiterated the values of religious harmony, tolerance, respect and peace which were inherent in the creation of Pakistan.