ISLAMABAD - Religious minorities in Pakistan have urged the government for the enforcement of five percent job quota in true letter and spirit. The lack of implementation of minorities’ quota has resulted in social, legal and political alienation of the non-Muslim communities who feel being deprived of their due share in employment welfare and education opportunities. These demand were made during the concluding session of three-day National Caucus Conference on “Quota Issues and Resource Reservation for Non-Muslims Communities in Pakistan” on Sunday.

Eleven non-Muslim parliamentarians on reserved seats belonging to National Assembly and provincial assemblies attended the conference and members of the National Lobbing Delegation from all the four provinces and the federal capital participated in the conference. The conference was also largely attended by civil society activists, lawyers, media, think tanks and political activists. The participants expressed concern that the non-Muslim Pakistanis are severely affected by lack of adequate laws and policies pertaining to welfare. The National Caucus and National Lobbying Delegation passed a declaration regarding the rights of minorities.  The main points of the resolution are: 5% quota fixed for the non-Muslims in jobs be implemented in letter and spirit; 20 marks be also awarded to the non-Muslim students upon successful completion of their respective religious courses as they are being awarded to Hafiz-e-Quran students; education policy be reviewed; facilitation of the Non-Muslim students in laptop scheme, student youth loan and skills development trainings by fixing quota for them in the respective fields; if any government facility is funded through Zakat funds in health and vocational trainings for Muslims, provision for alternate source for non-Muslims shall be made available to these institutions and they shall be directed accordingly.

They also demanded that quota for the non-Muslims, in jobs, educational institutions and various government schemes, be increased in proportion to the population of the non-Muslims in provinces and effectively implemented; rights of non-Muslim Pakistanis be secured; immediate attention to the issues related to legalisation of marriages of the non-Muslim Pakistanis; reserved seats for the non-Muslims in local government system should be five percent in all tiers; immediate measures be taken to hold census so that non-Muslim population should get facilities as per their population; number of reserved seats in national and provincial assemblies be increased, according to present population of non-Muslims in Pakistan.