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Govt urged to empower Hindus

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Typical India style, they don't even care by whom they are governed.


Govt urged to empower Hindus


By By Our Correspondent

6/21/2008 LAHORE



THERE are more than 400,000 Hindus living across the province but they neither are not being represented even by a single legislator in the provincial assembly nor in the National Assembly, said Hindu speakers in a seminar on Friday.


The moot, Provincial Consultation on Conditions of Pakistani Hindus, was organised by Hare Rama Foundation (HRF) and Hindu Sudhar Sabhake (HSS) in collaboration with Action Aid Committee (AAC) at a local hotel in the provincial metropolis.


The speakers said the government should address grievances of the Hindu community. They said Hindus, as the largest minority in the country, were suffering from many problems for decades.


The Hindus demanded the government to appoint advisors to the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister for minorities’ affairs from the schedule Hindu caste, as there was no MPA or MNA from the schedule Hindu caste from Punjab.


They asked the government to start legislation for resolving issue of registration of marriage of the Hindu as other communities were entitled to enjoy this right besides enjoying the benefits attached with this legal right.


They urged the government that the schedule Hindu caste should be given proper representation in the federal and provincial legislatures like the other minorities according to proportion of population.


They also urged the government to amend the Local Government Ordinance for making an increase in seats of districts and tehsils councils along with their women.


A national commission should be formed to address the grievances of the Hindus without any delay, they said, while adding that the government should make a new law through effective legislation under which any person, who would think the Hindus untouchable and hateful, should be penalised.


They demanded that the government should take stringent steps to get the forcibly occupied temples of the Hindus from the land-grabbers besides increasing grants for the religious places of the Hindus across the country.


The Hindus urged the government that it should announce residential colonies for the schedule Hindu caste comprising 5 to 7 marlas while the government should also give possession of 12 and a half acre land to poor Hindus in Cholistan. They said the Hindus should also be provided with proper places for ‘Shmashan Ghat’ in the thickly populated colonies of the community of the Hindus.


They said the government should also announce special Eid package for the Hindus and there should also be a public holiday for the Hindus on the occasions of Holi, Dewali, Shivratri and Baghwan Shri Krishan Janam Ashtami.


The Hindus also demanded the government to include subjects of general knowledge and ethics in syllabi of Islamic Studies for the children hailing from other communities.


They said that the government should also restore Advisory Councils established in 1976 and fix quotas in Baitul-Mal and Punjab Baitul-Mal for the schedule Hindu caste according to their population in Pakistan.


Lala Mehr Laal Bhel, former MPA Bhia Ram Anjam, Phul Ram and other Hindu leaders expressed their views on the condition of the Hindus. Provincial Minister for Minorities and Human Rights Kamran Michael and MPA Shamsa Gauhar also addressed the representatives of the Hindu community while pledging that the provincial government would try its level best to allay their concerns in the near future.

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