Pakistan Supreme Court Demands Minority Rights Protection

pakistan-supreme-court-minorityISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the federal government to form a national council of minorities’ rights for protection of minority rights and ensuring religious harmony.

The role of the national council of minorities’ rights should be to monitor the practical realization of the rights and safeguards provided to the minorities under the constitution and law, stated the decision.

The order further stated that those responsible for religious hate speech on social media must be brought to justice and children who face harassment at their schools because of their religious beliefs should also be protected.

The council would be mandated to frame policy recommendations for protecting minorities’ rights by the provincial and federal governments.

The apex court also ordered the formation of a special task force to protect places of’ worship. “A special police force will be established with professional training to protect the places of worship of minorities,” announced the court.

The proposed task force would devise a strategy to ensure protection of minorities’ rights.

In a detailed 32-page decision, Pakistani Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani ordered federal and provincial governments to meet a quota of minorities in employments in all services.

The order further stated that law enforcement agencies should swiftly take action on assaults against religious minorities.


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“In all cases of violation of any of the rights guaranteed under the law or desecration of the places of worship of minorities, the concerned law enforcing agencies should promptly take action including the registration of criminal cases against the delinquents,” said the chief justice.

“The federal government should take proper steps to ensure that hate speeches in social media are discouraged and the delinquents are brought to justice,” mentioned the decision.

The apex court also ruled that social and religious tolerance is needed to be taught in schools and universities.

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“Appropriate curricula should be formulated at school and college levels to promote a culture of religious and social tolerance,” the chief justice added.

The court asked the registrar to form a three-member bench to ensure that the order is carried out. The new bench will also take up any cases related to the abuse of minorities.

The said rulings were made in the detailed judgment on a suo moto case pertaining to the suicide bombing attack on a church in Peshawar in 2013. Eighty civilians were killed in the attack.


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Tayyab Baloch is an Islamabad-based multimedia journalist. He tweets at @blochjournalist. Read other articles by Tayyab.