In the light of a 6 years old judgment of Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP), government is all set to table National Council of Minorities (NCM) bill in parliament (lower house of legislation authority in Pakistan). The draft stipulates to form a minorities body solely. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, all the members and head of a commission would be from Non-Muslim community. Along with other religions, commission will also have a representative from Mirzai (Qadiyyani) community. One-third of the members shall be females. All the members of the commission shall be Justices of Peace in accordance with section 22 and 22-A of Code of Criminal Procedure Code , 1898.
a National Council for minorities’ rights be constituted. The function of the said Council should inter alia be to monitor the practical realization of the rights and safeguards provided to the minorities under the Constitution and law. The Council should also be mandated to frame policy recommendations for safeguarding and protecting minorities’ rights by the Provincial and Federal Government;Judgment of SCP reads
Council will work with country’s textbook boards to eliminate hateful material from curriculum (to neutralize the Islamic values from curriculum) of school, colleges and universities as well as of Islamic seminaries.
Furthermore, after consultation with chief justices of high courts and apex court, Minority Rights Courts may be established for speedy trial in cases against minorities or relating to minorities’ rights violations.
Draft, to be tabled soon in parliament, seems to make blasphemy law (particularyl 295C) more ineffective in the country. Nobody has been executed under 295-C ever since its introduction in Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) due to intense internal as well as international pressure. A number of delinquents, sentenced death by lower courts under this law, had been vindicated by senior courts. This modus operandi likely to become more easy under pressure of NCM and through minorities rights court. Furthermore, manifold pure Islamic values (such as the belief in finality of prophethood) and Quranic verses and chapters (reproaching Non-Muslims) can be eliminated in the name of “hate material” by commission.
Moreover, government seems shooting its gun from SCP’s shoulder while unleashing the commission. In the apex court’s judgment, commission is suggested only to protect minorities law and doesn’t explicitly specify to give them right of curriculum consultation, powers of justices or civil court.
Many religious circles have reservations on this bill for the unleashed empowerment conferred to the minorities through it. Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is closely keeping an eye on government’s attempts to make blasphemy laws, Islamic values and practices more ineffective in country.
This story will be updated once TLP core committee annonuces its course of action...