ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony has proposed Chela Ram Kewlani as the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities as the federal government steps to reconstitute the Commission granting more representation to minorities.
In its meeting held on April 21, the Federal Cabinet had accepted the long-standing demand of minorities seeking more representation in the National Commission for Minorities, and approved the inclusion of three Christians, two Hindus, and one representative each from Sikh, Parsi and Kalash Communities in the Commission.
In addition to that, it was agreed that the Commission would be headed by a minority representative.
However, a social media backlash was triggered when reports surfaced that the federal government had also extended its approval on the inclusion of an Ahmadis representative in the National Commission for Minorities.
Though the Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri brushed aside such reports saying that no such approval had yet been accorded.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Religious Affairs forwarded a Summary to the Federal Cabinet, proposing names of Non-Official Members as part of the reconstitution of the Commission.
The ministry didn’t name any representative from the Ahmadiyya Community in the Commission over its religious and historical sensitivity.
In its Summary, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has proposed Maulana Syed Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad and Mufti Gulzar Ahmed Naeemi as two representatives from Muslims.
Three persons including Chela Ram Kewlani (Proposed Chairman), Jaipal Chhabria and Vishno Raja Qavi have been proposed for the Commission from the Hindu Community while three Christians namely Dr. Sarah Safdar, Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw and Albert David have also been proposed.
Likewise, names of Dr. Mimpal Singh and Saroop Singh from the Sikh Community, Roshan Khurshed Bharucha from the Parsi Community, and Dawood Shah from the Kalash Community have also been forwarded for inclusion in the National Commission for Minorities.
It’s worth noting that Albert David hails from Rawalpindi and is the Chairman of the Pakistan United Christian Movement.
Albert David is also the Member of the Minority Advisory Council Punjab (MACP).
In addition to that, he is the recipient of a MBE (Honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) conferred by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition for his outstanding services towards UK-Pakistan bilateral relations.