Chairman, Pakistan Sikh council, Ramesh Singh told TOI over phone from Karachi on Saturday, that he had been included to represent Sikhs in Sindh in the welfare committee constituted by ministry of minorities. He said that the word ‘Zimmi’ had been used instead of minorities as it refers to non-Muslims of an Islamic state.
Sindh has a population of around 5500 Sikh; majority of them being financially week face various problems. “We face difficulties in getting government grants, job quota’s, and financial assistance during medical treatment or marriages,” he said. He said the committee would ensure optimal utilization of government grant in aid to the deserving recipients, and would also recommend proposals regarding the maintenance and construction of religious places besides appropriate distribution of resources.
Not only a Sikh, but the Sindh Zimmi welfare committee has also included a Parsi for the first time; informed Ramesh Singh. “It is for the first time that Sikhs and Parsis have been included and attention is being paid towards our developmental projects.”
Besides him, he said the committee, headed by the Sindhs’ caretaker minorities’ affairs minister, Hassan Ali Shareef, was comprised of representatives of the minority communities including, bishop Sadiq Daniel, archbishop Joseph Coutts, Parsi representative Byram Avari and All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat president, Ravi Dewani.
“Our main task is to supervise the allocation of funds to different communities and ensure that they are judiciously utilized,” said he. He said the resources would be allotted as 40 per cent each to Hindus and Christians, 10 per cent to the Sikh and 5 per cent each to the Parsi and Buddhist communities.