Lahore:The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has strong reservations concerning 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.
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 judgement of 2014.
In the current composition, the number of serving bureaucrats and representatives of the majority community undermine minority representation. Besides, to deny the Ahmadiyya community even the option of being represented is to wilfully ignore a long and sorry history of faith-based persecution.
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.