ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said protecting the rights of minorities and their welfare was included in top priorities of the government.
Talking to representatives of Hindus and Sikh community in Pakistan, he said, Islam guaranteed protection of religious places of minorities and added that the government in consultation with the minorities was taking various steps in that regard.
The prime minister said a task force about Evacuee Trust Properties Board was being set up, which would present its recommendations to the government for restructuring of the board, end corruption in this department and maintain shrines well.
It was decided that policy matters of the board would handed over to a Board of Management in which representatives of Sikhs and Hindu community would be included.
For the first time in the history of Pakistan, chairman of board of management of Evacuee Properties Trust Board would be made through a transparent and competitive procedure. In the past governments the chairman of the board was appointed on political grounds.
Secretary Religious Affairs briefed the meeting that purpose of the board was to look-after Gurdwaras and Mandirs, Asset Management, promotion of religious tourism, education, health and shelter homes and policy affairs.
He told the meeting that it was also the mandate of the board to evacuate the Evacuee Trust Properties from the encroachers.
He said a legal framework about it was being drafted. The meeting was told that Board of Management under the chairmanship would have full power over policy affairs.
Representatives of Sikh and Hindu community thanked the prime minister for sharing his vision for protecting the rights of minorities and steps taken regarding Evacuee Properties Trust Board.
They said there was no example of such steps taken by any government for reconstruction of the board.
The meeting was attended by Dr.Ramesh Kumar, Sardar Mandal Pal Singh, Sardar Tara Singh and Ravi Kumar. Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri, and Special Assistant Naeem Ul Haq were also present in the meeting.