By Madeeha Bakhsh
Pakistani Christian educationist Professor Anjum James Paul has urged the Prime Minister to look into the concerns of religious minorities regarding the upcoming census in March 2017. In this connection, he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif maintaining that minorities are apprehensive regarding their status as equal citizenship and religious identity on the forms of census.
Anticipating a much awaited census in March, Professor Anjum James Paul, Chairman of Pakistan Minorities Teacher’s Association wrote a letter to the Premier on February 15. The text of the letter is as below:
Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Prime Minister of Pakistan Prime Minister’s Secretariat Islamabad
Subject: Census 2017 and reservations of religious minorities
Greetings and peace from Pakistan Minorities Teachers; Association (PMTA). PMTA would like to draw your kind attention on the subject cited above.
Sir, religious minorities in Pakistan have reservations on the violation of their right to equal citizenship and religious identity on column 6 of census form 2.
Following recommendations are presented below which need your prompt kind attention to address the fundamental and constitutional rights as guaranteed in Article 25(1) of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 that guarantees “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.”
1.Sikh religion, Bahai religion and Parsi religion mist be included in column 6.
2.Instead of “Isaai” word “Masihi” meaning “Christian” must be replaced in column 6.
3.“Scheduled Castes” must be included as “Hindu” in column 6.
Sir, it is requested to you to kindly address the genuine reservations on column 6 of census form 2 before the commencement of the census 2017.
With best regards
Prof. Anjum James Paul