Call to implement SC verdict on minorities’ rights | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Call to implement SC verdict on minorities’ rights

Pakistan Press Foundation

LARKANA: Speakers at a consultative programme have urged the government to implement last year’s landmark judgement of the Supreme Court that outlines a strategy on how to protect the non-Muslims communities’ rights.

The programme was organised by the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) in collaboration with the Rights of Expression, Assembly, Association and Thought (REAT) Network on ‘Rights of minorities and landmark Supreme Court verdict’ in a local hotel on Sunday. It was attended by leaders of different minority communities of Larkana district, advocates, media persons and civil society activists.

KartarLal, a Hindu Panchayat Council leader from Ratodero, said the non-Muslim communities in Sindh were discriminated against in government jobs. He urged the authorities concerned to ensure implementation of five per cent job quota for the non-Muslim communities in Sindh.

Expressing their concern over blatant violation of job quota, he said individuals other than those from minority communities had been hired for jobs in many of the departments and municipalities, but unfortunately those hired were often witnessed refusing to deliver as they found the required work below their dignity.

Lack of implementation of minorities’ quota had resulted in social, legal and political alienation of the non-Muslim communities who felt being deprived of their due share in employment, welfare schemes and education opportunities.

MrLal expressed grief and disappointment over non-compliance of the verdict given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in June 2014 to ensure protection of worship places of religious minorities by forming a special task force. A year had passed but implementation of that notice was still under question, he said.KhalidChandio, a labour leader, said this verdict clearly stated that the federal government should constitute a task force which should devise a strategy to ensure religious tolerance at the level of schools and colleges; curriculum should be designed or revised in a manner that could help promote religious and social harmony.

Another Hindu leader, PamanLal, said incidents of abduction and forced conversions of Hindus and Christian girls were increasing day by day but no action was being taken against the culprits.

The religious places of minorities were not safe as the government had failed in protecting the worship places of religious minorities in Pakistan, he said. Had the SC verdict been implemented, many problems and issues of the minorities would have been resolved, he said.

He said the federal government should take such appropriate steps on the basis of which hatred material on social media could be discouraged and those who were responsible for that could be treated under the law.

Further quoting the SC verdict, he said a national council for the rights of minorities should be established with the mandate to ensure that the fundamental and constitutional rights of religious minorities were available to them; a special police force should be constituted to protect the worship places of religious minorities and job quota for religious minorities should also be implemented and ensured.

Afzal Shaikh of the CSSP said objective of the meeting was to create awareness among minority communities on the SC verdict and to bring them into mainstream by raising voice for legislation for their rights.

Advocate SattarHulio, Aneel Kumar, Gianchand, SuhailMaseeh, Lachmandas, Jawed Shah of the Indus Development Society and others also spoke on the occasion.