SC issues notices to govt law officials over implementation of minorities’ rights directives

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  • PML-N MNA says govt departments not paying heed to problems and issues facing minority communities
  • DAG tells court PM has ordered formation of national council for minority rights

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday issued notices to the Attorney General for Pakistan and the four provincial advocate generals seeking their respective reports over the implementation of the apex court’s directives on minority rights.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmad and Justice Mushir Alam resumed the hearing related to implementation of directives outlined by the apex court through its June 19 verdict on minority rights.

The court had on June 19 ordered for the constitution of a national council of minorities’ rights whose function was to monitor the practical realisation of the rights and safeguards provided to the minorities under the constitution and law.

The council would also be mandated to frame policy recommendations for safeguarding and protecting minorities’ rights by the provincial and federal governments.

During Tuesday’s hearing, PML-N MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vakwani told the court that the federal and provincial governments had yet to implement the ruling issued by the Supreme Court on June 19.

He further said that had the decision been implemented, many problems and issues of the minorities would have been resolved, adding that government departments did not pay heed to the issues faced by minorities.

Vakwani said minorities were given basic rights under the Constitutions of 1973 while speaker of the National Assembly says that the problems faced by minorities was a provincial issue.

Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk replied that the case being heard pertained to the implementation of the court’s earlier verdict. He added that the issues face by the minorities could not be overlooked but the issues highlighted were new.

He further asked the minority MNA to submit a written petition in this regard so that the relevant authorities could be questioned about it. Once the facts are presented, the relevant authorities could be summoned over it, he added.

A report submitted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs said that the prime minister has given clear instructions for implementation of minorities’ quota in government jobs.

The DAG informed the court that Premier Sharif had directed for the formation of a national council for minority rights and its rules and regulations were being decided according to the SC ruling.

The bench also expressed its dissatisfaction over the report submitted by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and called it ‘ambiguous’.

The sought once again reports from all the four provincial advocate generals and Attorney General of Pakistan on the matter and adjourned the next hearing of the case until December 16.