ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial has said that the courts in Pakistan have always been cognizant of the rights of minorities and have delivered judgments to enforce, implement and address issues faced by minorities in the country.
The CJP stated this while meeting an eight-member delegation of Sikh community at the Supreme Court building here on Thursday.
Justice Bandial briefed the delegation about the rights of minorities as enshrined in the 1973 Constitution.
“In Pakistan, every citizen has the right to profess and practice their respective faiths,” he said adding the courts in Pakistan as the custodian of the fundamental rights of the people, have always been cognizant of the rights of minorities and have delivered judgments to enforce, implement and address issues faced by minorities in Pakistan.”
He stated that considerable strides have been made to safeguard the religious properties of the minorities, in particular the Christian and Hindu communities.
The delegation apprised the Chief Justice about the Sikhs history and various issues, including their security and protection of their religious properties. The chief justice termed protection of minorities rights as the fundamental duty of the state and assured the delegates of taking up the matter with the concerned authorities. He stressed upon a collective resolve and efforts to address the prevailing myriad challenges being faced by the country.
Meanwhile, Haroon-ur-Rashid, Vice-Chairman and Hassan Raza Pasha, Chairman, Executive Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council in a statement strongly condemned the incident of ransacked and torched of four churches and a number of residences of members of the Christian community as well as the office of the local Assistant Commissioner by a violent mob of hundreds followed by an alleged incident of blasphemy in Jaranwala.