ISLAMABAD-The constitution has of Pakistan guarantees the basic rights of all citizens including religious minorities and police has an important role to play in protection of these rights.
These views were expressed by Dr Shoaib Suddle, Chairman One-Man Commission for Minority Rights, while addressing a seminar held at National Police Bureau on the occasion of National Minority Day on Friday.
He said that minorities are an integral part of Pakistan’s diverse society and have immensely contributed to the social and economic development of Pakistan. Constitution of Pakistan, especially Article-25 categorically recognizes equality of citizenship for all citizens and also stress on equal protection of all citizens by law. He informed participants that the Commission has so far made progress in implementation of Supreme Court Judgement of 19 June on Minority rights in terms of recovery of communal property, removal of hate material from textbooks, implementation of five percent minority job quota. He however stressed that policing can be further made responsive to the issues of religious minorities.
On the occasion, Dr Ehsan Sadiq, Director General, National Police Bureau, stated that criminal justice system in Pakistan should be responsive to play very instrumental role in protection of the rights of minorities. While doing policing on issues of minorities, the officers must consider other social facts that enhances marginality of the minorities.
He stated that the learnings at the top cadre level shall translate to junior officers to adopt citizen centric and victim centered approaches.
Ms. Marry James Gill, from Centre for Law & Justice stated that state institutions should empathetically and institutionally response to the problems of minority communities and neighborhood keeping in mind that they are marginalized, and hardened policing may enhance that.
Syed Kausar Abbas, Executive Director of Sustainable Social Development Organization discussed that community policing, if adopted, can help address various issues and challenges in protection of the rights of religious minorities.