FARAKHABAR: 24 December 2013
Members of the Sikh and Hindu minority in Afghanistan on Tuesday criticized the Lower House's refusal to approve a Presidential Decree that would designate a single seat to them in Parliament.
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Although the Senate voted in favor of the change this week, it must now be forwarded on to a joint-chamber commission to have its fate decided.
The Hindu & Sikh Council called the Lower House's vote discriminatory, and demanded that their democratic rights be respected.
"We still cope with many religious and ethnic problems, and only a few people in Parliament can defend them...so the presence of one representative or more than one that could serve the interests of the Hindus in Parliament is essential," said Zehra Sepahr, the Chairperson of the Development & Support of Afghan Women & Children Organization.
The Hindu & Sikh Council argued that the addition of a new seat for the religious minority, which would raise the total number of seats in Parliament to 250, would not have any detrimental effect on the rights and powers of the other representatives.
"This is the 250th seat approved by the Upper House, and the rights of others wouldn't be violated," said Rawul Singh, a member of the Council.
The Hindu & Sikh Council in a resolution of their own declared that their civil and political rights had been violated by the Lower House stance, calling on the United Nations and other international bodies to take steps to protect religious minorities in Afghanistan.
In this episode of Farakhabar host Yama Siawash discusses the topic with the following guests:
Nazifa Zaki, MP
Rahul Singh, Hindus committee deputy