Commission to recommend Salik fot top Award

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: Chairman One-Man Commission on Minorities Rights, Dr Muhammad Shoaib Suddle, in recognition of Convener World Minorities Alliance J. Salik’s exceptional services to the cause of minorities decided to recommend the government to award him the top civil award Hilal-e-Pakistan, and nominate him for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
The letter to Julius Salik also J. Salik reads: “Julius Salik is God’s exceptional gift to Pakistan. His momentous struggle for democracy began during the martial law of General Zia. His passion for tirelessly fighting for the rights of the oppressed in unorthodox ways soon made him the undisputed champion of the human rights of the hapless minorities.”
The former Federal Minister for Population Welfare was thrice elected as a member of the Parliament (National Assembly) – in 1988, 1990 and 1993. In 1994, he joined the cabinet as Federal Minister of Population Welfare. In 1996, Prime Minister Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto recommended him for the Nobel Peace Prize, describing him as the “nation’s conscience.”
J. Salik founded the World Minorities Alliance in 1980. “Though I had long observed the growing crusade of this jewel in the crown of Pakistan’s Christian community, we had not met since 1995 when I headed Rawalpindi Division as Police Chief.
I was pleasantly surprised when on 11 August 2022 J. Salik phoned me from Maryland, USA, to appreciate my work as the One-Man Commission for Minority Rights at the Supreme Court of Pakistan. While thanking him, I requested him to return to Pakistan as the minority community needed a rare leader like him – a leader who enjoyed the legendary integrity, courage and trust associated with his name,” he added.
Dr Suddle went on to mention, “J. Salik and his wife visited the Office of One-Man Commission on October 12, 2022. After presenting a flower bouquet, they invited me to visit a Christian Primary School in H-9 Islamabad a couple of days later to which I readily agreed.

I was given a rousing reception on reaching the school. In his welcome address, Mr. Salik listed many difficulties faced by the Christian community. I assured that every effort would be made to address the problems faced by both teachers and students.”

At the request of Mr. J. Salik, he also visited Islamabad’s Kachi Abadis including France Colony F-7/4, Miskin Colony, Musharraf Colony G-8, and J. Salik Colony G-8 on 23 November 2022. The concerned senior officials of CDA, IESCO, and Sui Gas were directed to be present during the visit.

“I must say that I was shocked to see the miserable living conditions of the inhabitants of these colonies. In my capacity as Chairman One-Man Commission for Minority Rights, I there and then issued appropriate time-bound directions to the accompanying officials and thanks to Mr. Salik’s untiring follow-up the required work has begun in earnest.”

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) scheduled the local bodies’ elections for Islamabad on 24 December 2022. The next day, i.e., 25 December, being Christmas Day, Mr. Salik raised serious objection to the insensitively prepared election schedule and fiercely demanded its revision. The One-Man Commission straightaway took up the matter with the ECP and got the election date rescheduled to 31 December.

“I was invited as chief guest at the public meeting organized by the World Minorities Alliance at the National Press Club Islamabad on 19 January 2023. There I saw the book “Pakistan ke Pehchan” compiled by Mr. Jabbar Mirza on the life of Mr. J. Salik.

The book is an invaluable collection of exceptional tributes paid by Pakistan’s 262 top thought leaders including columnists, politicians, and thinkers to J. Salik. Ms Tehmina Tariq beautifully sang poet Riaz-ur-Rehman Saghir’s 19-year-old song written to honour J. Salik. I cannot think of how much tribute is enough as I haven’t come across an individual who is cherished so much by so many for his priceless services to humanity.”

He added that J. Salik was about to launch a worldwide interfaith campaign from Washington DC in March 2023.