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Leaders of minority groups have condemned a decision to form provincial minority ministries.
Julius Salik, convener of the World Minorities Alliance rights group and a former federal minister, called it an attempt to end the national identity of minority communities in Pakistan.
“The presence of Christians at federal level is crucial as they face continual injustice, prejudice and discrimination inscribed in legislation. These are national issues that bear no relation to provincial autonomy,” he said in a June 29 statement.
The federal cabinet earlier this week approved the devolution of seven ministries including Minorities Affairs. The move, aimed at making provinces more autonomous, came into effect yesterday.
All 10 minority ministers in the national assembly will however remain members of the federal cabinet.
Non-Muslim communities have generally criticized the move.
“This is extremely harmful to minorities which are already suffering,” said Arjun Daas, chairman of the Pakistan Meghwar Council in Sindh province.