Pakistani Christian condemn devolution of Federal Minority Ministry
Karachi: June 29, 2011. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have expressed grave concern on devolution of Federal Ministry of Minority Affairs and termed it as government’s attempt to end national identity of 20 million Pakistani Christians.
The devolution of Federal Minority Ministry will come in effect from June 30, 2011, as per decision of Pakistan Cabinet here in Islamabad on June 28, 2011.
The Federal Minority Ministry fell in list of ministries for devolution under 18th Amendment in constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan which was drafted and approved in Cabinet meeting in which Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti was present as Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs without raising any objection.
From 1st July 2011, instead of Federal Minority Ministry, five provinces of Pakistan will form provincial minority ministries.
The Minority Ministry was formed under portfolio of Federal Ministry of Religious and Minority Affairs in 1973, when constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan was adopted in Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto regime of Pakistan Peoples Party PPP.
There was always a Muslim as Federal Minister to head Federal Ministry of Religious and Minority affairs and a Christian as State Minister post in this ministry but in 2008, on demand of Pakistani Christians, the Minority Ministry was separated from Religious affairs and notified as an independent Federal Ministry and Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti was appointed as full fledge Minister to head it.
Recently, Akram Gill, a selected member by Pakistan Muslim League (Q) was appointed as head of Minority Ministry, when PML (Q) joined as collation partner of PPP led government to fill vacated ministry after assassination of Federal Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti on March 2, 2011, in Islamabad.
The PPP government appointed Paul Bhatti, brother of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti, as Advisor on Minority Affairs to Prime Minister of Pakistan, a rank equal to Federal Minister but stayed reluctant to nominate him on vacated seat of his brother in National Assembly of Pakistan.
Nazir Bhatti said that Federal Minority Ministry was identity of 20 million Pakistani Christians but PPP government has scratched our identity with devolution of Federal Minority Ministry.
“The issues of Christians are of National Level which are related to legislation to ensure them equal basic democratic right and not connected with provincial autonomy because Christians have not any Separate Christian province which is claimed in 18th Amendment in constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan” said Nazir Bhatti
Nazir Bhatti added that none of Christian political party was called to sign on 18th amendment and it is decision of Muslim political groups only.
There is white stripe in Flag of Pakistan as recognition of religious minorities in Federation of Pakistan but after devolution of Federal Minority Ministry, the white strip in flag of Pakistan is turned green also with Islamic Kalma.
Nazir Bhatti said “It is time to divide Punjab and form Separate Christian Province that Christian may also enjoy provincial autonomy in Pakistan after 18th Amendment in constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan”