Man approaches Supreme Court over minorities commission

Dr Muhammad Shoaib Suddle, who is a part of the one-man commission on minorities rights at the Supreme Court, approached the court on Thursday and inquired about Pakistan’s National Minorities Commission.
The petition filed by commission registrar Abdullah Shah says the commission has constantly been facing “defiance and non-cooperation from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony”.
The commission recently found out that the MORA moved a summary for the Cabinet to reconstitute an existing National Commission for Minorities, the petition reads. “It did not consult the commission in defiance of the court’s October 3, 2019 order.”
The body proposed by the MORA violates the “commitment made before” the court. “It does not have a statutory backing and its very existence and composition would be at the whims and mercy of MORA,” it points out. “Since its claimed existence there is nothing on record to show that it did anything of note in relation to the rights of the minorities. In fact, the minority communities are not even aware of the existence of such a body.”
The petition adds, “There is a wider consensus among minority leaders and groups that the National Council for Minorities should be an independent statutory body with full administrative and financial autonomy”.
He has asked the court to withdraw the notification and take the one-man commission into confidence before the formation of such a commission.
On June 16, 2014, the court ordered the religious affairs ministry to form a national council for minorities. “The functional of the said council should inter alia be to monitor the practical realisation 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,” the order reads.

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