PAKISTAN: July 20, 2013. (Sheraz Khan) Chaudhry Mushtaq Gill, Chairman of All Pakistan Minorities Democratic Movement (APMDM) has urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif to order implementation of five per cent job quota for minorities.
The federal government and the government of Punjab issued minority job quota notifications in September 2009 and March 2010 respectively.
Mr Gill said minorities who initially welcomed the measure are deeply disappointed over non-implementation of the job quota for minorities. He said the beneficiaries of the quota were ‘a drop in the ocean’
When asked what was the impediment in the way of the implementation of job allocation for minorities Mr Gill put it down to the ‘absence of will’ on part of the decision makers and the ‘systematic discrimination’ against minorities communities.
To prove his point Mr Gill cited his ongoing struggle for jobs for Christians in the University of Sargodha, a small city in province Punjab.
Mr. Gill said he took the concerned officials of the university to the provincial ombudsman of Punjab in May 2012 after the university failed to recruit minorities against the quota since March 2010.
Following a year of hearings which were attended by Mr. Gill and Sargodha university’s representative the ombudsman gave his verdict that the university’s had breached the provincial government’s minority job quota notification.
Mr. Gill said the university has since not placed any advertisement for minority jobs. Mr. Gill warned he would move court against the university if it did not heed the ombudsman’s order.
Revealing another example of job discrimination against minorities Mr. Gill alleged that the administration of government hospital in Jhangi wala in Bahawalpur district of Punjab also flouted the minority job quota notification.
“Minority people were only judged to be good for menial jobs”, Gill regretted.
He called for employment of minority teachers in Daanish Schools, a free education project initiated by Punjab government in 2011 to provide education to children from poor backgrounds.
He said he was determined to continue fighting for jobs for minorities especially for young people.
“I believe it is vitally important for the young people to get into government jobs because it would give them a better start in life.
“I would like young Christian men and women to get the jobs of lecturers, Professors and Assistant professors in the University of Sargodha and in other universities of the province as well.”
The chief of APMDM said when he contacted other universities in Punjab including Islamia University Bahawalpur to urge them to implement the minority job quota he was told that they did not receive any notification in this respect.
“This is sheer obstructionism as the Punjab government notification has been sent to all autonomous bodies in Punjab”, said Mr. Gill.
Mr. Gill went on to say that in addition to the universities other departments such as National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), Capital Development Authority (CDA), Police, Intelligence and Ministry of Defence were also culpable of not giving jobs to minorities under the allotted quota.
He said he met Chairman NADRA, Tariq Malik and Defence Secretary Asif Yaseen Malik, who he said kicked the matter in the long grass after professing concern for the ‘uplift’ and ‘integration of minorities’.
Asked what else he would like to see changed for minorities in Pakistan Mr. Gill said he would like to see an end to growing misuse of Pakistan blasphemy laws.
Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl recently claimed asylum in Canada after a gruelling experience in Pakistan following trumped up blasphemy charges by a Muslim cleric in Islamabad.
Mr. Gill called for an impartial inquiry into blasphemy accusations by a high-ranking police official if someone is accused of blasphemy in Pakistan in the future.
He hopes he would be appointed as advisor or coordinator to the Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif.
“Khalil Tahir Sandhu, the provincial minister for health and human rights has assured me he would recommend my name to the CM on the basis of my performance”, said Gill.