Safeguarding minorities’ rights, top priority: FM

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said inter-faith harmony and ensuring rights of minorities was among top priorities of the government.
In a meeting with newly appointed Chairman National Commission for Minorities Chela Ram Kewlani here at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qureshi said the world today was acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts in protecting rights of minorities.
On the other hand, he said India had heightened its oppression against minorities, particularly Muslims, who faced continuous religious persecution. The Foreign Minister expressed confidence that the appointment of Chela Ram Kewlani, belonging to Hindu community from Sindh, would promote the spirit of inter-faith harmony in the country.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said that Pakistan’s infection and growth rate is different as compared to Europe and the United States, media reported.
Addressing the National Assembly session, the foreign minister said the country’s death ratio was 2.17% compared to the global ration of 6.8%, adding that Pakistan is ahead of other South Asian countries in terms of testing capacity for Covid-19.
He said that Pakistan has increased its coronavirus testing capacity to 20,000 per day and there are 70 functional labs across the country to conduct Covid-19 tests.
“When the first case was reported on February 26, the country’s testing capacity was at 100. “Our testing capacity now stands at 20, 000 tests per day,” he added. He said that govt was striving to further enhance the testing capacity for the virus. The National Assembly session was summoned last week by President Dr Arif Alvi and commenced Monday to debate Pakistan’s current coronavirus situation.
The session was chaired by the Deputy Speaker NA, Qasim Suri. Legislators from the treasury and the opposition participated in the debate on the situation arising after the outbreak of coronavirus. The coronavirus tests have been declared mandatory for the lawmakers attending the session of the assembly.