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The apex court ordered the govt to ensure protection of minorities' rights. — File photo
The apex court ordered the govt to ensure protection of minorities' rights. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Thursday ordered for the constitution of a national council of minorities' rights.

The function of the said council should be to monitor the practical realisation of the rights and safeguards provided to the minorities under the constitution and law, stated the decision.

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

The apex court also ordered the formation of a special task force to protect minorities’ worship places, saying, “Special Police Force [to] be established with professional training to protect the places of worship of minorities.”

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

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

Earlier reported: CJ hints at guidelines to protect minorities

The order further stated that law enforcement agencies should swiftly take action on cases pertaining to the rights of minorities.

“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.

Lives and possessions of minorities are to be protected as per law, it said.

The federal government was also ordered to take notice of negative propaganda in this regard on social media.

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

Know more: Offence against any religion to be dealt under blasphemy law: CJ

The apex court also ruled that social and religious tolerance is needed to be taught on school and college levels. There should be no discrimination in educational institutes on religious basis.

“Appropriate curricula be developed at school and college levels to promote a culture of religious and social tolerance,” said the CJ.

The said rulings were made in the detailed decision on a suo moto case pertaining to the suicide bomb attack on a church in Peshawar in 2013 that had claimed 80 lives and regarding threats being given to Kalash tribe and Ismailies in Chitral.

Comments (7) Closed

Abrar Jun 19, 2014 03:24pm

The rights are already guaranteed in the constitution, instead of creating new forums/consuls which do nothing but talk and make statements in the media, how about setting up a mechanism for ensuring that government delivers the rights promised in the constitution for minorities and for everybody?

A S Rao Jun 19, 2014 04:00pm

Very happy to see the highest Court of Pakistan is seized of the important issue.

Saad Zafar Jun 19, 2014 04:22pm

great decision by SC. Please also protect the rights of agnostics and atheists

Kashif Chohan Jun 19, 2014 04:32pm

That is possibly one of the MOST POSITIVE even hinted on from anyone in a position of ruling which is in favour of religious minorities. Thanks for the thought and hope for it's formation and some action too.

Khalid Jun 19, 2014 05:40pm

Supreme court can do whatever it likes. What we need is to determine the rights of the citizens of Pakistan. Minorities expect exactly the same rights as all other citizens of Pakistan. Also, talking about minorities rights sounds like a political statement rather than a sincere effort to do something for the minorities. I don't care what the religion of the person standing next to me is, all I need to know is that he/she has exactly the same rights as me. Why is it so difficult for politicians to understand. There is one more thing, with regards to minorities, we need to teach our children that ALL religions deserve to be treated with the same respect we reserve for Islam. We need to also teach our children that all religions are equally important for the people who follow them. We haven't done that for the last 65 years and I know it will be difficult task in the presence of 1000s of Madrassas.

Mohammad Akhtar Jun 19, 2014 05:47pm

It is about time. most people don't have patience and tolerance towards minorities. Minorities are our brother and sisters too, they are Pakistani and they have equal right to live in this country. I hope this national council recommendations will be implemented strongly.

Agha Ata Jun 19, 2014 10:01pm

First, there should be another national council for enforcing the law of their rights for the minorities that already exists.