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Fata Christians write to CJ for getting rights

By Our Correspondent 2014-05-19
LANDI KOTAL: Christians living in different parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have demanded of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court (PHC) chief justices to help ensure provision of the basic rights to them.

Christian Awareness and Development Society (CADS), Fata, argued in aletterit has sent to the chief justices of the Supreme Court and PHC that `though Article 25 (1)of the Constitution declares them as equal citizens of Pakistan, they are being denied their basic human and constitutional rights despite living for almost 100 years in different parts of Fata`. Copies of the letter have also been sent to heads of the major political parties, members of Senate and National Assembly and the federal minorities`ministry.

The CADS said that though Christian population in Fata had exceeded 50,000 over last 67 years, they were being denied provision of domicile certificate of Fata and dueshare in government jobs under the quota allocated for residents of Fata. It said that about 5,740 Christian families were residing in Fata, but the local political administration had been issuing them only temporary residential certificates.

According to the letter, whenever a resident of Fata migrates to any other part of the country, he or she is granted domicile of that area after living there for five years, but the same facility is denied to Christians in Fata. Besides, it said that Christians living in Fata werenot entitled to purchase properties and build their own houses. It also demanded jobs for Fata Christians in government departments besides representation in Senate and National Assembly.

The CADS regretted that worship places of all minorities required maintenance and the federal minorities` ministry had not yet provided them with any special funds for the purpose. It also demanded establishment of a technical centre for Fata Christians and special funds for observance of Christmas and other festivals.