HRCP voices reservations over formation of national minorities’ commission
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has strong reservations over the formation of a national minorities’ commission through a cabinet decision based on a summary moved by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony.
In a statement, it has said that the proposed composition smacks of partisanship and, above all, as a non-statutory body, the commission is no substitute for the national council for minorities’ rights envisioned by the Supreme Court’s historic Tasadduq Jillani judgment of 2014. In the current composition, the number of serving bureaucrats and representatives of the majority community undermines minority representation.
“The HRCP has long demanded that a statutory national council or commission for minorities be set up in the spirit of the 2014 judgment.
While we call on the government to enact such a body as soon as possible, we also urge the government to heed the latest report submitted to the Supreme Court by the Shoaib Suddle commission, which has alleged that the ministry for religious affairs has been less than forthcoming in implementing the 2014 judgment. The onus is on the state to deliver through a suitable Act of Parliament.”
After the federal cabinet’s decision, Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri had on May 5 announced the composition of the commission that will headed by Chela Ram Kewlani, a Hindu businessman and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Sindh leader, and include three members each from the Hindu and Christian communities.
Newspaper: The News