Pakistan Supreme Court Orders Protection of Religious Minorities

Carrie Dedrick | Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pakistan Supreme Court Orders Protection of Religious Minorities

The Pakistani Supreme Court has ordered government protection of religious minorities in the nation, including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and others. Religious minorities face persecution and violence in the Muslim-dominated region, but Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani said this should occur no longer.

Under Jilani’s ruling, the government will be required to form a National Council for Minority Rights, authorities designated to protect churches and other non-Muslim places of worship. Law enforcement specifically for church protection is in response to the bombing of All Saints Church in Peshawar that killed 127 Christians last year.

Authorities are also responsible for taking action against distribution of anti-minority propaganda. The government is to design and implement an anti-discrimination school curriculum and form affirmative action laws for religious minority employment reports Christian Today

The UK Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) said in a statement, "Keeping in view the government's treatment of minorities, it is difficult to say whether government will take interest immediately to implement the order.”

"We can only hope that after such clear and cogent instructions from the Chief Justice, the government of Pakistan takes positive steps towards making minorities feel secure in their country."

Publication date: July 1, 2014