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Pakistan Supreme Court seeks report on framework for protection of minorities

Pakistan Supreme Court seeks report on framework for protection of minorities
Highlights

The apex court stressed that the commission for minorities' rights should be given a space for its office with all the required staff.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Supreme Court has sought a report within a month from the federal and provincial governments over the implementation of its 2014 judgement suggesting a framework for the protection of minorities.

The court also proposed to form a bench to implement its 2014 judgement.

A three-member apex court bench on Thursday resumed hearing the case and sought a report from the federal and provincial governments in the matter within a month.

The Express Tribune reported that the matter for the formation of the implementation bench was later referred to Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

In its landmark 2014 judgement, authored by then chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, the apex court had suggested a framework for the protection of minorities.

One of the recommendations in the verdict was the creation of a national council to oversee the matters of the minorities.

The apex court stressed that the commission for minorities' rights should be given a space for its office with all the required staff.

During the hearing, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker and Hindu Council Chairman Ramesh Kumar prayed to the court that "the chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) should be from the minority group."

"Some 15 to 23 members of the ETPB are Muslims," he noted.

In Pakistan, around 10 million out of the 220 million population are non-Muslims.

According to the 2017 census, Hindus constitute the largest religious minority (5 million) in Pakistan. Christians make up the second-largest religious minority, with almost the same number (4.5 million) and their concentration is mostly in urban Sindh, Punjab and parts of Balochistan.

Ahmadis, Sikhs and Parsi are also among the notable religious minorities in Pakistan.

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