Pakistan Establishes National Commission for Minorities

In early May, it was confirmed that the Government of Pakistan had officially established a National Commission for Minorities, nearly six years after a decision by Supreme Court of Pakistan highlighting the necessity of a national body to “monitor the practical realization of the rights and safeguards provided to the minorities under the Constitution and law.”

The landmark establishment of the National Commission for Minorities exhibits to international human rights and religious freedom advocates that the government of Pakistan is making positive steps in protecting the human rights and religious freedoms of all Pakistani citizens regardless of their ethnic or religious background; however, the Commission is receiving some criticism in Pakistan. For example, the makeup of the Commission includes Muslim and Hindu members, whereas Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians have yet to be included.

Regardless, the establishment comes at a time of great concern regarding the preferential distribution of medical aid and food supplies to members of the religious majority Muslim community during the COVID-19, whereas some groups, such as the Saylani Welfare International Trust, have reportedly denied supplies to Christians and Hindus.

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