Christian Testot calls on Giyan Chand Essarani

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Consul General of France in Karachi ChristianTestot called on Provincial Minister for Minorities Affairs Giyan Chand Essarani on Monday. Secretary Minorities Affairs Department Muhammad Abbas Baloch was also present on the occasion. Issues and welfare of the minorities community were discussed in detail.

Talking on the occasion, the Minister added that the minority community considers itself safe in Pakistan and especially in Sindh. At the time of Partition, 0.1% of Hindu community had not migrated from his home town Thana Bola Khan.

He claimed that those who migrated from Sindh to other countries due to general law and order situation at different were times, were returning back to Sindh.

The Provincial Minister said that two PPP members belonging to the minority community were elected to the Sindh Assembly and one member to the National Assembly on general seats, and added that 90% of his voters are Muslims.

In the 2002 general election, my brother got 48,000 votes, while his Muslim rival candidate got only 8,000 votes. He said that out of 18 ministers of Sindh cabinet, two ministers were from minorities while two special assistants to Chief Minister Sindh also belonged to minority community. He opined that minority communities had always thrived in every field during Pakistan Peoples Party government as it was a top menifesto of our party to provide equal opportunities to minorities.

He added that Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari takes personal interest in the welfare of the minority community and regularly attends Holi, Diwali and other religious festivals of minorities. He said that the minority community in Sindh has a leading role in the business sector . Besides, people belonging to minority community hold senior positions in the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and the police.

He said that dedicated special security force consisting of 400 personel is being set up to protect the religious places of the minority community, while CCTV cameras are being installed for the security of places of worship . He said : Rs. 100 million under financial assistance , Rs. 32 million under medical aid, Rs. 11 million in dowry among needy and Rs. 28.125 million in scholarships for promising students of Minorites distributed in outgoing financial year.

Secretary Minorities Affairs Muhammad Abbas Baloch said that funds have been allocated for development works on 900 units of minority community places of worship.

In the next financial year, the development budget of the department has been increased from Rs. 750 to Rs. 1000 million. A 25-member Sindh Non-Muslim Welfare Committee had been formed with full decision-making mandate . On the occasion, Provincial Minister for Minorities Affairs Giyan Chand Essarani extended invitation to Consul General Christian Testot to visit the historic religious sites of the minority community which the visiting guest accepted and agreed to schedule the program of visit.