Dutch Ambassador in Pakistan Jeannette Seppen and US Consul General Yuriy Fedkiw met Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Khalil Tahir Sandhu here on Wednesday, along with the First Secretary of the Dutch Embassy in Pakistan.
Matters relating to mutual interest, promotion of international relations and cooperation in various areas, and particularly the measures taken by the Punjab government to safeguard minorities and human rights came under discussion.
The minister informed the Dutch ambassador and the consul general of the initiatives of the Punjab government for protection of minorities and human rights, including the provision of government jobs to those belonging to minorities in the civil administration, police, and judiciary through a mandatory 5% quota being implemented strictly throughout the province.
He apprised the foreign diplomats regarding educational stipends amounting to Rs 30 million distributed among the minority students annually along with laptops and IT education, and the new legislation and amendments in laws relating to them, as well as the empowerment of minority women through skills development.
Minister Sandu appreciated the efforts of the Dutch government for providing technical as well as financial assistance in different sectors of development and said that the Netherlands was the fourth largest trade partner of Pakistan, contributing to the country’s economy with huge exports the in textile and agriculture sectors.
He also lauded the American government and US Consul General for USAID initiatives for the vulnerable segments of Pakistani society in the province and said that the US Government had always supported the development of educational, health, food, and other essentials.
We hope to expand the scope of this mutual cooperation and working relationship with both Netherlands and America in future, he added.
The Dutch Ambassador along with US Consul General appreciated the measures taken by the Punjab government for the progress and prosperity of the province. They hoped that the development projects initiated in the province particularly for the betterment of minorities and protection of human rights will usher in a new era of development and progress for Pakistan. Both the diplomats also lauded the measures taken in the province to eliminate child labour and the harassment of women.