Minorities in Pakistan face discrimination even though they are granted equal rights under the constitution. They are deemed as second class citizens. The minorities’ representation in May 11 general elections was nominal. Out of 342 National Assembly seats, about ten were reserved for the minorities. Similarly, only 4 seats were allocated in the Senate out of 104 reserved seats.

The terrorist attacks and target killings of non-muslims is on the rise. The minorities are subjected to accelerated levels of extremism, social and religious discrimination. This discrimination is mainly attributed to anomaly in the laws and policies. Evidence of multi-dimensional discrimination against minorities is perplexing. The quota system introduced in the political and economic sector, which claims to safeguard minorities’ rights, is not managed properly. This system is exploited and is ignored by the government officials and senior authorities.

In the face of these grievances there is a dire need for the government to enforce stringent laws and policies which safeguard the minorities’ rights. The government should also take initiatives in development of a framework, which is anti-discriminatory.

AIYZA JAVAID,

Lahore, May 12.