Social Justice    BISHOP APPEALS TO PAKISTAN'S MILITARY LEADER ON RELIGIOUS MINORITIES
Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, Bishop Kevin Manning, yesterday wrote to Pakistan's military leader, General Pervaiz Musharaf, urging him to act more decisively to protect religious minorities.
   Bishop Manning express his disappointment at the 'halfhearted commitment made regarding abolition of separate electorate, a system based on religious apartheid'.
   He said to General Musharaf: "It was sad to note that your government is 'still thinking' about one of the gravest of the problems of the religious minorities. The non-Muslim citizens had to face discrimination and a sense of being left out in an important national plan.
   "The minorities in Pakistan have not only protested about this separatism but have clearly demanded restoration of Joint electorate, ever since the principle of equality of citizens was undermined 1979 and 1985. There is unanimity of thought among the human rights organizations about the detrimental characters and features of this electoral system. The indecisiveness of the government on issue is disturbing for religious minorities in Pakistan."
   
ACSJC
27/3/00

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