Strategic Plan Development for MDC & Training Sessions on Minority Laws held by LCAP

Local councils Association of the Punjab in collaboration with the European Union and Commonwealth Local Government Forum has organized two consecutive workshops for Minorities Development Committee (MDC) Punjab. On the first day, LCAP held Strategic Plan Workshop for minorities. The objective of the workshop is to understand the challenges of minorities, discuss possible solutions and develop a long-term Strategic Plan.

Executive Director LCAP, Mr. Anwar Hussain opens the session with greetings and brief background of Local councils in Pakistan and Women’s Development and Minority Inclusion Officer Ms. Maham Ahmed proceeded with the planning of strategic plan for minorities. The activities involved a group discussion with different participants from various districts of Punjab to record their reservations and issues for the development of long-term strategies to overcome the problems.

Senior Anchor Mr. Salman Abid conducted a panel talk with participants and discussed the role of minorities in the local government. Participants have fully involved in the discussion and asked various question for clarity.

On the second day Women Development Committee (WDC) Chairperson, Ms. Zaib-un-Nisa delivered the workshop on Christian Marriage Act 1872 and The Christian Divorce Act 1869, and WDC member Advocate Farzana Abbas delivered the workshop on Law of Inheritance. The session addressed the reservations related to marriage and divorce registration and property succession.

Mr Samson Salamat, Director of Welfare for Human Rights Education (CHRE) Said that we are minorities not because we’re less in number, rather we belong to some specific religion. We shouldn’t be getting excited about minority wings or reserved seat participation, we need mainstream inclusion in state politics and our vote bank should be increased.

Ms Shunila Ruth, Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, and Mr Ijaz Alam Augustine, Member Provincial Assembly Punjab, Provincial Minister Human Rights and Religious Affairs honoured the session with their presence.

Participants presented Charter of Request in front of both Ministers regarding political participation, funds for religious celebrations, subject of ethics instead of Islamiat for minorities, the inclusion of minority heroes in the curriculum, distribution of PPE material to save sanitary workers from COVID-19, call off job advertisements that require minorities to work as janitors and increased representation of minorities in National and Provincial assembly.

Ms Shunila motivated the participants and asked them to work hard for basic human rights while declaring a promise to raise her voice and all efforts for better legislation for minorities. Mr Ijaz specifically addressed the issues minorities face in their communities related to hate speech, less representation in politics and omission of biographies of minority national heroes from the textbook’s curriculum. She said local government elections are important for our country and the Government is busy making effective legislation for a better LG system. The legislation will be formed after consensus.

Minister for Human Rights and Religious Affairs Mr. Ejaz Alam said that the current local government system provides visible representation of Minorities. He further mentioned that we helped for inclusion of content from sacred books of Minority religion and profiles of Minority heroes in textbook curriculum of the subject ‘Ethics’.

In the last both of respected guests thanked Local Councils Association of the Punjab for arranging this workshop.

Vice President LCAP, Mr. Zahid Iqbal also participated in the session and greeted our honorable guests and briefed about positive efforts of LCAs in the region for minorities.

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Author: LCAP
Local Councils Association of the Punjab is an organisation working in Lahore, Punjab. While supporting various local government aspects under the project SALG funded by European Union and CLGF.

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