CJP says committed to safeguarding constitutional rights of minorities

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Umer Ata Bandial on Wednesday, expressed his solemn commitment to safeguarding the constitutional rights of the minority community of the country.

The Chief Justice expressed his pledge to a 10-member minority delegation that called upon him at the Supreme Court. The delegation comprised of Samuel Payra (Chairman Implementation Minority Rights Forum); Rt. Rev. Bishop Fredrick John (Bishop of Karachi and Balochistan); Manzoor Masih (Member National Commission for Human Rights); Bakhtawar Shah (Kalash Community); Mr. Tariq Chaman; Sarwan Kumar Bheel (Hindu Community); Sardar InderJeet Singh (Member Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Community); Kashif Namet (Advocate High Court Lahore); Ms. Sonia Riasat (Human Rights Activist, Azad Kashmir) and Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Suddle (One-Man Commission on Minorities Rights at the Supreme Court of Pakistan).

Chief Justice Bandial appreciated the contributions of the minority communities vis a vis, inter-faith harmony across Pakistan. The Chief Justice aptly greeted them in advance, on the ‘National Minority Day’ scheduled to be held on 11.08.2022 (today).

Bandial briefed the minority delegation on the fundamental rights enjoyed by the minority communities under the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973; particularly Article 20, which guarantees every citizen the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion.

The CJP said that the superior courts of Pakistan being the custodian of the Constitution and thereby, the fundamental rights of the people, have always been cognizant of the rights of the minorities and have delivered judicious judgments to enforce their rights, implement, and address the festering issues faced by them.

The CJP stressed that recently; the Supreme Court quickly took notice of the attack on the ‘Teri Mandir’ at Karak and directed the provincial government to recover the costs of restoring and reconstructing the temple from the miscreants involved in its abominable desecration.

Meanwhile, the delegation lauded the Chief Justice for readily sparing priceless time to meet them. The delegation spelt out the myriad of problems and hurdles faced by the minority communities pertaining to the enforcement of their fundamental rights.

The one-man minority commission constituted by the Supreme Court, emphasised that the challenges being faced by the minority communities can only be overcome if the recommendations of the Supreme Court in S.M.C. No.1 of 2014 (PLD 2014 SC 699) are implemented in letter and spirit by the federal and provincial governments. Conclusively, the visiting minority delegation and the Chief Justice of Pakistan passionately exchanged souvenirs as a token of goodwill.