Afghanistan, Pakistan & Bangladesh Indian Diaspora

Religious Minorities in Pakistan Demand the Right to Choose Their Own School Curriculum

by John Coleman  

(Photo: Reuters)

Pakistani schoolgirls recite the Koran in the above photo.

A group representing the religious minorities of Pakistan organized a seminar that discussed the concerns of the educational curriculum in the region. The group demands that the government allow religious minorities to choose the curriculum they want.

The event was organized by the South Asian Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK) and Members of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly and social activists were in attendance, according to the Express Tribune.

Pakistan is known to include Islamic teachings in the school curriculum. Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Kalasha and other religious groups make up the minority of Muslim-dominated Pakistan.

“Non-Muslim students should be given the option to decide if they want to study Islamiat or Civics instead of it,” Sikh elder Rabinder Singh Tony said at the event.

Members of the Kalasha religious minority have had no representation at a general assembly in Pakistan, and many of them live in poverty without proper health and educational facilities.

“The Kalasha have a unique culture and have been living in Chitral for centuries, yet their voices are not heard in the assemblies,” MPA from Chitral Sardar Hussain said.

Haroon Sarbdiyal, chairman of the All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement said “education molds minds and people of all faiths should be given the right to decide what they want to study at school.”

A member of the PTI MPA political party, Shaukat Yousafzai, said in a speech at the event that the government would acknowledge the requests of religious minorities, and non-Muslims deserve to have equal rights in the providence.

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