PM approves task force for execution of minority rights

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved the formation of a task force to oversee the implementation of the rights of minorities after the National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution over the matter, it emerged on Sunday.

A notification dated June 15, issued by the Prime Minister’s Office stated: “In light of the resolution passed by the National Assembly on May 9, 2022, the prime minister has been pleased to approve the constitution of task force on minorities to oversee the implementation of rights of minorities in light with the decision of the Apex court.”

The task force, comprising 23 parliamentarians, senators and ex-officio members, will be headed by MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is also the patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

According to the “terms of reference” enlisted in the notification, the chairman of the task force will hold the status of a federal minister, while the body will play an advisory role.

“The task force shall monitor and oversee all the affairs of the protection of rights of minorities in the light of decisions taken by the Apex court,” it said, adding that the body will also have to submit quarterly reports on the developments to the premier.

Moreover, all the provincial governments and administrations have been instructed in the notification to provide full support and assistance to the task force in discharging its functions.

Following the orders, Dr Vankwani took to Twitter saying that such a step had been taken “for the first time in the history of Pakistan”.

“Parliamentarians unanimously passed a resolution to set up a task force for the rights of minorities and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif passed orders on its implementation … this reflects concrete steps taken by the present government for the protection of minorities,” he tweeted.

As chairman of the task force, Vankwani continued, “I would like to address the feelings of insecurity of the minorities.

“Recommendations will be made for the solution of the problems faced by the minorities and we will take people from all the segments of the society along with us,” Dr Vankwani promised, asserting that countering anti-Pakistan propaganda regarding minorities at the global level was the top priority of the task force.

 

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