22 May | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Rwadari Tehreek demands healthy social, political environment, freedom for all

In an open letter, Rwadari Tehreek Chairman Samson Salamat presents recommendations to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government for consideration while making laws, policies and strategies

Rwadari Tehreek Chairman Samson Salamat – in an open letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – demanded healthy social and political environment, respect of the constitutional guarantees, human rights and fundamental freedoms to bring Pakistan out of countless challenges.

Congratulating Shehbaz Sharif on being elected as the prime minister, he called for hard-work from all government functionaries, cooperation from the state institutions, and smooth political environment. “Rwadari Tehreek is a social movement which was initiated in 2015 to counter intolerance, and violent extremism from our society and enhance scope of respect of diversity, besides safeguarding religious freedom,” he wrote.

Samson Salamat suggests constitutional reforms package for minorities to remove discriminations, to ensure equal citizenship

Belonging to different faiths, religions, languages, and ethnicities, he pointed out that Rwadari Tehreek members were working for the betterment of the society. In order to assist the government to make sure that Pakistan was pulled out of the socio-economic crisis, he said that the Rwadari Tehreek faithfully presenting recommendations which may be taken into consideration while making laws, policies and strategies.

Presenting specific recommendations to the prime minister, Samson Salamat urged all the state institutions to follow and work in accordance with their role defined in the national constitution and ensure that there was no undue interferences. “By all means, our government must refrain from any forms of political victimization of opponents and, maintain harmony and cooperation for the sake of the people and the country,” he suggested.

Furthermore, he said that the provincial autonomy guaranteed through eighteenth constitutional amendment should be implemented in letter and spirit and there should be more concrete initiatives to address grievances of the provinces. “Bring reforms to strengthen democratic institutions, ensure independence of the Election Commission of Pakistan, and transparency of the electoral process to avoid political unrest due to allegations of rigging and other malpractices,” he said.

“We should take practical initiatives to promote political tolerance and acceptance and refrain from instigation and violence,” he stated. In order to deal with the financial crises, he suggested that special measures should be taken for the economic growth e.g. save financial resources by cutting non-productive expenditures, observe simplicity, keep small cabinet, avoid huge protocols, promote tourism, and other industries etc along with a comprehensive national policy to deal with challenges caused by the climate change.

Rwadari Tehreek demands reforms in educational curriculum, ban on hate speech and materials

Drawing attention towards hardships faced by the weaker sections of the society, the Rwadari Tehreek chairman urged special attention and practical steps for the uplift of women, children, minorities, laborers and workers and initiatives to stop violence against women and children. In order to address their problems and grievances, he suggested to introduce a constitutional reforms package for minorities, which should include removal of discriminations from the constitution to ensure that all citizens are equal constitutionally on the concept of equal citizenship.

Through reforms package, he also suggested end to misuse of one-sided strict ‘religious’ laws, forced conversion, and undemocratic proportional representation system to fill-up the reserved seats, and demanded rights for minorities to elect their representatives within the joint electorate system at the national and provincial assemblies. In order to repair damage done by extremism and organized terrorism, he urged implementation of National Action Plan in letter and spirit.

He asked the government to ensure that the banned militant outfits were dealt with a zero tolerance policy with no compromises. “A long-term plan should be made to decrease intolerance, and extremist mindset from the society which may include reforms in educational curriculum, and effective implementation of the ban on hate speech and materials which triggers violence,” the Rwadari Tehreek chairman added.