Prof Anjum James Paul Faisalabad. firstname.lastname@example.org
Principal of Punjab University Law College (PULC), Prof Shazia Qureshi, has said that Islam is a universal religion which is complete code of life and encircled entire sphere of life throughout the globe. Islam not only protects but also safeguards the rights of minorities and upholds the human rights while constitution of Pakistan guarantees fundamental rights besides protection to minorities. Speaking at a round table discussion as chief guest on "Minority Rights" (Feb 1), she said that rights of all Muslims, including minorities, are fully protected in Islam. She said that according to Article 25 of constitution, all citizens are equal and entitled to same protection of law without any discrimination on the basis of sex alone. She said that Article 36 safeguards the legitimate rights and interests of minorities, including their due representation in the federal and provincial services. Ms. Shazia Qureshi said that constitution provides freedom of movement, assembly, association, trade business or profession, freedom of professing religion, protection to property rights, protection against double punishment and non-discrimination in respect of access to public places." I would like to say in honour of Prof Shazia Qureshi if Islam protects the minority rights then why Muslims become hindrance in it. They must follow the teachings of Islam in a real way so that they may become a model example for the non-Muslims. I am presenting only one example here how there is violation of the minority students. Examinations for Class V have begun from Feb 3, but students of religious minorities were not provided the syllabus of Ethics yet. According to the notification of the Schools Education Department, the government of Punjab, No. SO(A II)8-5/2004(P), dated July 7, 2008, there are the subjects of Urdu, English, Mathematics, Islamic Studies, Social Studies and Science but not the subject of Ethics in the educational calendar, which is a compulsory subject according to the recommended Education Policy 2006 for the students of religious minorities. There is no option for the subject of Islamic Studies but it seems that the students of minorities are deliberately kept in the dark as most of them are examined for the subject of Islamic Studies instead of Ethics. The Pakistan Minorities Teachers' Association (PMTA) wrote a letter to the chief minister of Punjab on Oct 30, 2008 on the subject, 'Issuance of syllabus in the subject of Ethics for 5th and 8th classes." Copies of the letter were mailed to the minister of education, minister of human rights and minorities affairs and the secretary of education, government of Punjab. The PMTA received letters from the ministry of human rights and minorities affairs, ministry of education, government of Punjab, Punjab Textbook Board, Lahore, Punjab Examination Commission and Punjab Education Commission but they all have failed to provide the syllabus according to the above-mentioned educational calendar 2008-09. Now it is up you to decide whether minorities are enjoying the rights according to the teachings of Islam and the article 25 and 36 of the constitution of Pakistan 1973.