Minority rights: SC seeks report from AGP, AGs over implementation of directives

Published November 25, 2014
Supreme Court of Pakistan building.  — Reuters/file
Supreme Court of Pakistan building. — Reuters/file

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday issued notices to Attorney General for Pakistan and the four provincial advocate generals seeking their respective reports over the implementation ofthe apex court's directives on minority rights, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk and comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmad and Justice Mushir Alam resumed the hearing related to implementation of directives outlined by the apex court through its June 19 verdict on minority rights.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on June 19 had ordered for the constitution of a national council of minorities' rights whose function was to monitor the practical realisation of the rights and safeguards provided to the minorities under the constitution and law.

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

During today's hearing, PML-N MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Wakwani told the court that the federal and provincial governments had yet to implement the ruling issued by the Supreme Court on June 19.

Read: SC orders formation of national council for minorities' rights

He further said that had the decision been implemented, many problems and issues of the minorities would have been resolved and added that government departments did not pay heed to the issues faced by minorities.

Wakwani said minorities were given basic rights under the Constitutions of 1973 while speaker of the National Assembly says that the problems faced by minorities was a provincial issue.

He wondered as to where the Rs 700 million fund given to Sindh was spent.

Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk replied that the case being heard pertained to the implementation of the courts earlier verdict.

Also read: Compliance reports on SC verdict not submitted

He added that the issues face by the minorities could not be overlooked but the issues highlighted were new.

He further asked the minority MNA to submit a written petition in this regard so that the relevant authorities government could be questioned about it and added that once the facts were presented the relevant authorities could be summoned over it.

A report submitted by the ministry of religious affairs said that the prime minister has given clear instructions for implementation of minorities quota in the government jobs.

Deputy attorney general of Pakistan informed the court that Premier Nawaz Sharif had directed for the formation of a national council for minority rights and its rules and regulations were being decided according to the Supreme Court ruling.

Also read: A welcome judgement

The bench also expressed its dissatisfaction over the report submitted by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and called it 'ambiguous'.

The sought once again reports from all the four provincial advocate generals and Attorney General of Pakistan on the matter and adjourned the next hearing of the case until December 16.

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