ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the welfare and uplift of minorities being an important part of PPP manifesto, his government has taken unprecedented initiatives for their emancipation and protection of their rights. He said that five percent job quota has been allocated for the minorities and their representation in the national and provincial assemblies as well as in the Senate will be enhanced. Prime Minister was talking to Lord Bishop Michael Nazir Ali, the Member of the British House of Lords who called on him at the Prime Minister’s House on Friday.
The Prime Minister also briefed the Lord Bishop about the development schemes, financial support and other programs being undertaken by the government for the uplift of minority community. He urged the Lord Bishop to highlight that the government’s efforts towards the well being and uplift of minorities and women folk in the British parliament and other fora.
Lord Bishop Michael Nazir Ali commended the steps being taken by the government of Pakistan for the wellbeing of the minorities. He appreciated the role of Christian missionary schools and hospitals in the education and health sectors of Pakistan. He said that he has always been projecting Pakistan’s policies and steps for protecting the interests of the minority community in the House of Lords.
The prime minister briefed the Lord Bishop about his government policies for improving the bilateral relations with the neighboring countries particularly with India and efforts being made by his government to solve the outstanding issues including the issue of occupied Kashmir through composite dialogue.
The Prime Minister reiterated his government’s offering to cooperate with the government of India in investigating Mumbai terrorists’ attacks and said that the India’s response was still awaited.
He welcomed the US President-elect’s initiative to appoint the former President Bill Clinton to help resolve the Kashmir issue and said that Pakistan looks forward to any such initiatives for the resolution of long outstanding issue of Kashmir . Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to PM on Social Sector and Bishop Azad Marshal were also present during the meeting.-SANA