ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti has said that the present government has taken a number of initiatives for the welfare and protection of rights of minorities under the dynamic leadership of President of Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. He was talking to a three member delegation led by Member of Federal Parliament of Germany Johannes Pflug, who called on him in his office on Saturday.
The Federal Minister informed the visiting delegation that PPP government is committed to the uplift and empowerment of religious minorities and want to bring them into the main stream of the country. Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti said that the government attaches its high priority to promote inter-faith harmony and dialogue among the different religions.
The Minister informed the delegation that the present government is taking all necessary measures to create a culture of tolerance, human equality and establishment of an egalitarian society in the country.
He said that the address of President of Asif Ali Zardari at inter- religion conference at the UN General Assembly in New York highly speaks of Pakistan’s commitment to strengthen the efforts of the international community for the promotion of inter-faith harmony.
Shahbaz Bhatti said that the government is taking revolutionary and concrete steps to address the issues and problems being faced by the minorities. He also informed the delegation that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has recently announced 5% quota in all government jobs and representation of minorities in the Senate of Pakistan.
He informed the delegates that the government is celebrating religious festivals of minorities at the national level. He further informed that the government is introducing legislative reforms to protect basic rights of women.
Members of the visiting German Parliament, Mr. Johannes Pflug appreciated the initiatives taken by the government for the protection of rights of minorities and women. He also said that Germany will extend its cooperation in the education sector. Ambassador of Germany to Pakistan Dr. Michael Koch and First Secretary/Head of Cultural Section of German Embassy Ms. Katharina Lack and other senior officials of Ministry of Minorities Affairs were also present during the meeting.-SANA