LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought a report from the commissioner and the deputy commissioner for failing to provide place for cremation to the Hindu community in the city.
Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi was hearing a public interest petition filed by Advocate Ishtiaq A. Chaudhry.
The lawyer argued before the court that the Hindu community living in Lahore had been facing difficulties in case of death of any of its members as the government had not built any cremation place for their last rituals.
Justice Qureshi expressed concern over the situation and observed that the Constitution of Pakistan treated all citizens equally and no one could be discriminated.
The lawyer also pointed out that the rules of the Lahore Development Authority provided reserved place for cremation near residential areas. He urged the court to issue a direction to the authorities concerned to ensure availability of crematorium for Hindu community in the city. The judge adjourned hearing till Sept 13 and sought replies from the respondents.
Hearing another petition moved by the same lawyer, Justice Qureshi sought reply from the Punjab government about provision of separate wards and rooms in public hospitals for transgender community.
The lawyer argued that members of the transgender community were not being provided good medical facilities at public hospitals. He said at least one million transpersons lived in Punjab but the government failed to protect their rights.
He pointed out that the Supreme Court had already issued an order to reserve separate wards and rooms in OPDs for transpersons in public hospitals. However, he said, the order had not been complied with. The judge directed the government to submit its reply on the matter by Sept 13.
Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018