Apex court’s chief judge says Supreme Court delivered judgements to enforce minorities’ rights.

ISLAMABAD    -   Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial has assured minority community of Supreme Court’s commitment to safeguard constitutional rights of the minority communities

A 10-member minority delegation Wednesday called on Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial at the Supreme Court building. The delegation comprised Samuel Payra (Chairman Implementation Minority Rights Forum), Rt. Rev. Bishop Fredrick John (Bishop of Karachi & Balochistan), Manzoor Masih (Member Nation­al Commission for Human Rights), Bakhtawar Shah (Kalash Community), Tariq Chaman, Sar­wan Kumar Bheel (Hindu Community), Sardar Inder Jeet 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 Supreme Court of Pakistan). The Chief Justice of Pakistan wel­comed the delegates and appreciated the con­tributions of the minority communities towards inter-faith harmony in Pakistan. He also greeted them on the occasion of the National Minority Day scheduled for 11th August (today).

Justice Bandial briefed the delegation about 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. He added 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 judgments to enforce their rights and address the issues faced by them. He noted that recently the Su­preme Court took notice of the attack on the ‘Teri Mandar’ at Karak and directed the Provin­cial Government to recover the costs of restor­ing and reconstructing the Mandar from the miscreants involved in its desecration.

The delegation expressed their appreciation to the Chief Justice of Pakistan for sparing time to meet them. They also shared the problems faced by minority communities in the enforcement of their fundamental rights. The one-man Minority Commission constituted by the Supreme Court emphasised that the challenges 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. At the end of the meeting, the Chief Justice of Pakistan assured the delegation of the Court’s commitment to safeguard consti­tutional rights of the minority communities. The delegation and the Chief Justice of Pakistan then exchanged souvenirs as a token of goodwill.