ASIA/PAKISTAN - Activist questions: “When will we have our own National Minorities Commission?”

Friday, 3 June 2016 religious minorities   religious freedom   violence   justice  


Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - “Since 1995 government members have been discussing a National Minorities Commission. Neighbouring India set up its National Minorities Commission in 1992, supported later in 2004 by with an ad hoc National Commission for Minority School Institutions. It is known that the Supreme Court of Pakistan on 19 June 2014 ordered the government to establish a National Council for Minority Rights. It is now urgent for this order be implemented”: Fides learned in a report from Pakistan Catholic Peter Jacob, human rights activist and director of the NGO Centre for Social Justice.
Jacob says: “The structural unbalance created against religious minorities by discrimination which is part of the political system can only be corrected with the institution of a special body to promote the necessary reforms. In order to identify and implement remedies to the serious violation of the human rights of religious minorities in Pakistan, it is imperative to create a National Minorities Commission which is independent and has access to resources”
A report recently launched by the Karachi Jinnah Institute with the title “The situation of religious freedom in Pakistan”, insists on the urgency of a National Minorities Commission. Furthermore the Pakistani government in its National Human Rights Action Plan presented at the United Nations offices in Geneva in February this year, 2016, promised to prepare and present a Bill for the creation of a National Minorities Commission. “It’s time for our institutions to implement their commitments” Jacob concludes. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 3/6/2016)