‘Minorities need to focus on education’

By Adnan Rafique

ISLAMABAD: Chairman One-man Commission on Minorities Rights, Dr Shoaib Suddle on Thursday said the minorities needed to focus on improving their education and build capacities to secure quality employment opportunities for ending their poverty and deprivation.
The Chairman One-man Commission was addressing as chief guest at special memorial service organized by World Minority Alliance in recognition to the services of late renowned Urdu Poet Riaz-ur-Rehman Saghar for former Federal Minister for Population Welfare J. Salik.
The Saghar’s tribute song for J. Salik composed after 19 years was sang by Gospel Singer Tehmina Tariq.
Dr Shoaib Suddle said the Commission assessed that the vacant positions in public departments under minorities quota were over 30,000. When the Commission, he said had probed the matter, the provincial governments mostly claimed that the minorities members were not meeting the test criteria.
“It is important for the members of the minority to address this issue. J. Salik will have to take lead role in this regard. There is need to establish special coaching centers for minorities to enable them to apply for the advertised jobs,” he suggested.
He added that the next concern was to ensure access of minorites’ students to higher education institutions.
It was decided by the commission to have 2 percent quota reserved for the minorities students.
The scholarships have been increased for minorities’ students whereas all provinces had doubled these scholarships which would be enhanced further, Dr Suddle said.

He said the successors of the Commission would have to work passionately for the minorities. “I held meeting with the Public Service Commissions at federal and provincial levels. Some 700 vacancies have been filled by them against minorities’ positions. I proposed to provide relaxation in test and interview to minority members. When these children will come into these positions then many of the problems of the community will be resolved.”

He informed that the Commission did the audit of Evacuee Trust Properties and found Rs 100 billion misappropriation in these properties’ management. “Out of these over 3,500 acres land worth Rs 23 billion has been retreived from encroachers. Some Rs 650 million recoveries have been made in lieu off lease and rents of Evacuee Trust Properties,” he added. Dr Suddle underlined that he was doing his job at the Commission as worship.

Appreciating the efforts of J. Salik, he said the nature had blessed him and had the quality to persuade everyone.

“Christian community is lucky to have J. Salik as it’s leader. If he produced a few disciples of him then it can bring a revolution. I believe that he has been tireless to support his people and society.”

The tribute by Saghar to Salik was unqiue and very few get such homage as it was presented today by the singer Tehmina Tariq, he said.

Dr Suddle underlined that J. Salik must spend his time here and should lead the issues of these people.
“In 1989, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto recommended his name for Noble Prize for his services to promote human rights. We will proceed that recommendation for noble further as his services needs to be acknowledged. We will always welcome all minorities to come to our office for issues related to minorities,” he said.

Former parliamentary secretary for information and broadcasting Mian Anwar ul Haq Ramay in his tribute said that he had a close association with J. Salik and found him as devoted Christian promoting the message of Prophet Jesus through his humility and simplicity. “He had a unique political style and seeks new ways of politics. Salik has his own style of protests as per his vision, ideology and motivation. He must be acknowledged for this,” he added.

“J. Salik must be given Noble Prize for his modesty as being a federal minister he was very humble and down to earth. People and defenders like J. Salik are the reformers of a society,” Ramay said.

J. Salik played key role for supporting Muslims abroad and was his ideal and the society needed to promote such people, the former MNA said.

Former Federal Minister for Population Welfare J. Salik said that he had decided to return to Pakistan after witnessing the efforts of Chairman One-man Commission on Minorities Rights for supporting the marginalized segments of the society.

Dr Suddle has been fighting for minorities’ rights and protecting of Christian religious properties, he said.
“I decided to respond to the tribute of Riaz Ur Rehman Saghar who wrote his wonderful poem for me after a pastor advised me to compose the poem into a lyrical song. I am thankful to Tehmina Tariq who agreed to sing that poem in a very short time,” he added.

Salik added that he started his initiative through World Minority Alliance and gathered Muslims abroad to support his cause of unity.

“Islam has no discrimination for Christians. Jogindarnath Mandal a Hindu of lower caste was made the first law minister of Pakistan by Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. We, the Christians have huge share in the history and creation of Pakistan. This is the first country in the world created on the basis of minorities,” J. Salik underscored.

He mentioned that nationalism was the base of every country but it was not promoted in the country. “We have British and American Centres but there is no national center. There were 28 national centers in the country that were sold.

We need to revive that institution to promote nationalism and cohesion.”

This country, he said was received after numerous sacrifices of many innocent lives and was not achieved for a few elite.

“The poor has to rise for protection of the country,” he ended.