ISLAMABAD: The sixth meeting of National Commission for Minorities (NCM) was held here on Thursday and deliberated the reconstitution of the commission, its chairperson, members, their tenure, perks and privileges, qualifications, and other aspects.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf chaired the meeting which endorsed that the NCM should be autonomous. Some recommendations discussed include: the minimum age limit of chairperson should be 35 years, every school of thought should be given representation, and chairperson should be of three years.
It was discussed that the commission should have a chairperson including seven official members and 11 private members on honorary basis.
The meeting also perused the National Commission for Interfaith Harmony, Bill, 2015.
The participants were told that three MNAs had already prepared three identical Bills including, ‘The Commission for Minorities Bill, 2015’, moved by Beelum Hasnain MNA, ‘The Commission for Minorities Bill, 2015’, moved by Lal Chand Malhi and ‘The Commission for Minorities Bill, 2016’, moved by Sanjay Perwani.
A meeting would be held on April 11-12 with the three MNAs to deliberate incorporating the private bills with the official Bill, National Commission for Interfaith Harmony, Bill, 2015.
The chairman ordered expediting the process of acquiring 28 kanal land for establishing Pakistan Centre for Interfaith Harmony.
He directed Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) representative to send a reminder to the CDA for allotting the land for establishing the centre and report within a period of one week.
The meeting was attended by MNA Asiya Nasir, Bishop of Lahore Irfan Jamil, Professor Mehardad Yousaf, Allama Muhammad Asghar Khan Askari, the representatives of interior, law, CADD, religious affairs, and high ranking officers of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).
Earlier Asiya Nasir, a member of NCM, urged the meeting to offer prayer for the departed souls of Christians who were martyred in Quetta on last Monday. Bishop Irfan Jamil led the prayer.