By Namta Gupta
New Delhi, May 11, 2020: Pakistan has reconstituted National Commission for Minorities (NCM) but it is just old wine in a new bottle.
Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA) in a statement to CurrenTriggers noted that while there are 8 Muslim members, just 10 members are from 5 minority religions of Pakistan.
It also said that the Chairman, Council of the Islamic Ideology, is official while secretary ministry of religious affairs is Ex-officio Member/ Secretary of NCM.
Two non-official Muslim clerics and the other four official members of Basic Scale 20 would most probably be Muslims, PMTA said and also added that there is no representation of Bahai religion in the ‘new’ NCM.
PMTA demanded to make an autonomous, independent, and powerful National Commission for Minorities through the Act of the Parliament.
In another development, PMTA in a letter dated May 8th, 2020, wrote a letter to Shafqat Mehmood, Minister for Federal Education & Professional Training, requesting him to ensure that the upcoming textbooks for Pakistani students are free from religious bias.
In the letter PMTA stated that the religious minority students can also be loyal and faithful to their religion like Muslims when they have upcoming textbook of Religious Education with their religious identity like Islamiat is only for Muslim students.
It requested an amendment in the subject of Religious Education for the Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Kalash, and Bahai students instead of using the term ‘non-Muslims.’