Govt gives equal rights to minorities in Sindh: CM Murad
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) believes in plural society, therefore its government in Sindh has enacted laws under which forced conversion of the religion and child marriages have been completely banned.
This he said while talking to an American delegation led USA Special Advisor Religious Minorities Mr Knox Thames. The other delegation members were Mr Razi Hashmi Officer Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and labor, Mr Anne Sackville-West Political Officer, Mr Robert Silberstein Consul General of USA in Karachi. The chief minister was assisted by Minister Education Saeed Ghani, Minister Religious Affairs and Local Government Syed Nasir Shah, Cm Advisor on Law Murtaza Wahab and PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro.
Murad Shah said that Sindh was the land of Sufis, therefore people of this province naturally respected human rights, co-existence and lived with harmony with the people of other religions. “This is the reason that no inter-religious disputes have ever emerged in the province,” he said.
USA Special Advisor for Religious Minorities Mr Knox said that the student from primary classes should be given human rights education so that they start respecting other religions and thoughts of their people when they grow up.
Education Minister Saeed Ghani said that the Muslim students were given education of Islamiat in religious education period while Hindus and Christian students were taught civics education in their religious education period. He said that as an education minister he was working out a plan to impart religious education to the students of their respective religion they belonged to.
The Sindh Chief Minister said that his party gave tickets to three Hindus candidates on general seats in general election of 2018, of them Dr Mahesh returned as a MNA from Tharparkar and Harim Ram and Gianchand as MPAs from Mirpurkhas and Thano Boolakah, Jamshoro, respectively. He added that the PPP had never won the seat of Mirpurkhas city but our Hindu Candidate won this Muslim majority seat. “This is evidence how much our people respect Hindus in Sindh.”
Shah said that his government has passed a law under which nobody could change his/her religion before attaining the age of 18. “Now, the forced conversion of the religion has become contrary to the law,” he said and added that child marriage has also been banned. “The marriage age starts from 18-year of age,” he said.
The chief minister said that earlier there was no law to register Hindu marriages and now the Sindh Assembly has passed Hindu Marriage Act under which marriages are registered legally.
Murad Shah said that he belonged to Sehwan, the land of Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalander where people of different religion gather to celebrate his Urs. “The same position is at other shrines such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sachal Sarmast and others where Hindu, Muslims and Christian observe their Urs collectively,” he added.
The visiting American delegation appreciated the efforts of Sindh government for giving equal rights to the religious minorities.