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December 6, 2017

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Minorities’ rights should be secured more than other citizens: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday remarked that minority faith groups should feel that their rights are the most secure in Pakistan than other citizens.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, heard the suo motu case pertaining to the preservation of minorities’ rights in Pakistan.
The case was initiated in 2014 on the request of Dr Ramesh Kumar. The bench directed the state to make special considerations for people belonging to minority faiths at the provincial and federal levels.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan remarked that the rights of minorities should be taken into as much consideration as the rights of special needs children are in policy circles. “Those belonging to minority faiths should feel as if they are given special considerations compared to ordinary citizens in Pakistan,” he added.
He remarked that minorities should feel that their rights are the most secure in Pakistan. During the course of proceedings, Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mehmood assured the court that all places of worship belonging to minority communities were being provided security.
He also assured the court that the government was refurbishing Hindu places of worship and a temple in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that the landmark Hindu Marriage Act had been passed earlier this year.
The deputy attorney general assured the judges that all of the court’s orders pertaining to minorities’ rights were being implemented in Balochistan and Sindh as well. Justice Dost Muhammad Khan remarked that even the majority seems to be in the minority now as a minority can hold us hostage anytime it wishes to. He also directed that minorities be referred to as non-Muslims rather than minorities, as enshrined in the Constitution. Later, the court disposed of suo moto notice case.  

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