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Formation Of ‘Powerless’ National Commission For Minorities Challenged In SC

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Dr Shoaib Suddle, who heads a commission on minorities rights formed by the Supreme Court (SC) for ensuring the implementation of its 2014 verdict pertaining to the protection of minority rights, has challenged the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony’s step to re-establish an existing National Commission for Minorities (NCM) which does not have the power to influence law of the land.

Pakistan Today reported that the petition was submitted by the commissioner’s registrar Abdullah Shah. The petitioner maintained that the Religious Affairs Ministry has not been cooperating with the commission and defying its mandate.

The petition further says that the SC-formed commission came to know that the a summary seeking to reconstitute an existing National Commission for Minorities was moved by the ministry in the recent cabinet meeting. “It did not consult the commission in defiance of the court’s October 3, 2019 order”, the petitioner said.
The petition further says that the commission proposed by the ministry flouts the SC’s order as its “existence and composition would be at the whims and mercy of the ministry”.

The petition also said that no step in relation to the minority rights has been taken by the body since its existence was announced. “In fact, minority communities are not even aware of the existence of such a body”, the petitioner says.
He requested the apex court to withdraw the formation of the new commission and order the government authorities to take the existing SC-formed commission into confidence before constituting a new commission for minority rights.


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