Pakistan’s Supreme Court has directed the government to make special considerations for minority communities at the provincial and federal levels.
“[The rights of] minorities should be taken into as much consideration as the rights of special needs children are [in policy circles],” Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked as a three-member bench wrapped up proceedings in a suo motu case pertaining to rights of minorities in Pakistan.
“They [those belonging to minority faiths] should feel as if they are given special considerations compared to ordinary citizens in Pakistan,” Justice Afzal was quoted as saying by Dawn online. “They should feel that their rights are the most secure in Pakistan.”
During the final hearing, the attorney for the government 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 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak District, and reminded the court that the landmark Hindu Marriage Act had been passed earlier this year. He also assured the judges that all of the court’s orders pertaining to minorities’ rights were being implemented in Balochistan and Sindh as well.
During the proceedings, one of the judges also seemed to remark on recent happenings in Pakistan’s capital city, saying that, “Even the majority seems to be in the minority now; a minority can hold us hostage anytime it wishes to.”
The same judge, Justice Dost Mohammad, also directed that minorities be referred to as non-Muslims rather than minorities, as enshrined in the Constitution.