PESHAWAR: Minorities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have demanded an increase in the quota of seats for them at educational institutes, especially medical and engineering colleges.
Although a 5% quota has been approved by the federal government, minorities are usually ignored in government jobs and educational institutes.
A recent example of quota violation was the fact that just one seat was reserved for a non-Muslim student at the Khyber Medical College. The institute has 12 other colleges under its umbrella throughout the province.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly MPA Fredrick Azeem Ghori submitted a resolution in the house around two years ago against a system which does not help students from minorities in well-established government higher education institutions.
He told The Express Tribune 1,832 seats were available at various medical institutions of K-P and only one was available for non-Muslims in the Khyber Medical College. Even if the government allocates one seat for non-Muslims, 18 students can be accommodated.
“I submitted two resolutions; one was about the job quota and the second was for an increase of the same in educational institutes. However, the government did not take notice of it. Ghori said the resolution would be resubmitted to the house and he was hoping that authorities take immediate action.
Showing his disappointment over the government attitude towards religious minorities, the MPA claimed he asked different members of the house to sign the resolution to increase the quota at medical and engineering colleges. “I am happy they responded positively, but when I asked the minister for public health engineering, he refused by saying the resolution should first be approved by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.
Radesh Singh Tony, a Sikh elder, said it was an injustice to millions of non-Muslims across the province that the quota system was not being followed properly. He added their children were not able to prove themselves in the technical field due to such circumstances.