April 17, 2021

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In Pakistan, minorities are considered ‘non-citizens’

The Center for Democracy, Pluralism and Human Rights (CDPHR), a human rights organization in Pakistan, recently published a report on the lives and dependencies of the country’s religious minorities. The report highlights the reasons behind minorities being treated as ‘non-citizens’.

Although all citizens have equal rights under the constitution, minorities are constantly forced to live under siege. They also have no right to freedom of speech or legal protection, the report said. Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Ahmadis and even Shias are considered ‘non-citizens’ in the country. The law serves as a great tool to exploit and subjugate people of other religions.

“Despite being a signatory to a number of international human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Pakistani law has been marked by hate speech and violence against minorities,” it said.
Some ethnic minorities like Baloch, Pashtuns and Sindhis are persecuted by the Punjab-dominated military and bureaucracy. The independence movement in Balochistan has been violently suppressed by the Punjabi-dominated military here. In the case of ethnic minorities, abductions, rapes, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of detainees by the military are commonplace in Pakistan.

 

BD Daily / Antra Kabir

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has expressed interest in lending to the vaccine fund that the government has taken to protect the people of the country from the corona epidemic. The bank has confirmed that it will be able to repay about 250 million euros (about কোটি 300 million) to Bangladesh. Now the Economic Relations Department (ERD) is working on the terms and conditions of the loan. This information has been known from the relevant sources. Finance ministry officials said the fund, which the government plans to set up to vaccinate the lion’s share of the country’s population against HIV-19, would make major progress if the loan agreement with the ADB and the European Investment Bank is finalized. The government is expecting about 1.2 billion dollars or about 1.2 billion dollars from these two organizations.

According to sources, the Department of Health has finalized a national immunization plan to combat COVID-19 in Bangladesh, according to which more than 13 crore 82 lakh 48 thousand people will be vaccinated in five stages in three phases. The government initially estimated that it would need about আ 2.5 billion, or about কোটি 2.5 billion, to vaccinate such a large number of people.

It is learned that the government sent letters to various development partners and donor agencies last November to raise funds for the purchase of vaccines as per the government’s plan. In addition to the World Bank, ADB, JICA, AIIB, France was also in Germany. Last month, the World Bank approved a কোটি 500 million loan to Bangladesh. Outside of those companies, the European Investment Bank offered Bangladesh large sums of money to buy vaccines.
A finance ministry official said the European bank’s loan amount was the third highest after a loan proposed by the World Bank and the ADB. The official said that according to the government’s plan, the government needs about 2.5 billion US dollars to bring about 140 million people in the country under vaccination. It has been confirmed that a large amount of money has been received from the World Bank and ADB. ERD is now working to finalize funding from the European Investment Bank. According to the concerned, ADB is giving the biggest fund to buy the vaccine. The company has confirmed that it has given a loan of about 940 million US dollars to Bangladesh in this sector. If approved by the ADB board meeting, the government will reach a final agreement on the loan this month.

If the talks are finalized, a quick agreement can be reached with the European Investment Bank.

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