LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday expressed his dissatisfaction over the forceful conversions of members from the Kalash community.
A bench headed by the CJP heard a case related to illegal encroachments and land in the Chitral community.
The community had earlier submitted a petition stating that a man, Maqsoodul Mulk, was trying to snatch their property. The petition also stated that “they (the Kalash tribe) had occupied the property since medieval times, and have a population of approximately 300 people”.
The CJP said, “They should not be forced to convert. It is a matter of basic rights.”
During the hearing, the additional advocate general informed the supreme court that a lower trial court had ruled in favour of the minority. However, the decision had been challenged in the provincial high court.
On October 11, the advcocate general Islamabad, chief secretary Khyber Pakhutnkhwa (KPK), inspector general police K-P and the deputy commissioner Chitral had been served notices to appear at the hearing held today.
Citing the decreasing population of the community, the chief justice stated that the community’s land should not be encroached upon, and urged the government to ensure that the Kalash community enjoyed complete freedom and rights.
The top court adjourned the hearing until October 31.