Provincial Ministry of Human Rights and Minorities Affairs, Punjab with technical support of Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) organized a ‘National Minority Day’ event at Governor House Punjab on 7th August, 2019 to celebrate cultural and religious diversity, and promote inclusion. Honorable Governor of Punjab, Mr. Chaudhry Sarwar and Mrs. Parveen Sarwar graced the event with their presence. Mrs. Parveen Sarwar praised the role of religious minorities played in the progress of the country. The event was also attended by other notable personalities including Mr. Ijaz Alam Augustine (Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs), Mr. Akhtar Malik (Provincial Minister for Energy), Mr. Ansar Majeed Khan Niazi (Provincial Minister for Labor and Human Resource), Mr. Syed Saeed-ul-Hassan (Provincial Minister for Auqaf and Religious Affairs), Mr. Sardar Asif Nikai- MPA, Allama Zubair Ahmed Zaheer (Head of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, Pakistan), Mr. Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, and the esteemed Bishop of Lahore.
Political and religious leaders delivered speeches to highlight the existing challenges affecting minorities in Pakistan, and issues preventing their mainstreaming and inclusion. The Honorable Governor underscored the need to protect minority rights, and promised to increase the quota for religious minorities in Government’s educational institutions. Furthermore, he apprised the audience about the steps being taken by the government to ensure provision of minority rights including budgetary allocations and implementation of National Action Plan (NAP).