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Police must protect Constitutional rights of minorities: Dr Shoaib Suddle

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 11 (APP): Chairman of One-Man Commission on Minorities Rights, Dr Shoaib Suddle on the occasion of National Minority Day, organized by National Police Bureau here on Friday said the Constitution of Pakistan guaranteed basic rights to all citizens including religious minorities and the Police had an important role to play in the protection of these rights.

Addressing the National Minority Day celebrations, the One-Man Commission Chairman further said that minorities form an integral part of Pakistan’s diverse society and have immensely contributed to the social and economic development of Pakistan, a news release said.

Suddle said the Constitution of Pakistan, especially Article-25 categorically recognizes the equality of citizenship for all citizens and also stresses on equal protection of all citizens by law.

He informed participants that the Commission has so far made progress in the implementation of the Supreme Court Judgement of 19 June on Minority rights in terms of recovery of communal property, removal of hate material from textbooks, and implementation of a five per cent minority job quota. He however stressed that policing could be further made responsive to the issues of religious minorities.

On the occasion, the Director General of, the National Police Bureau, Dr. Ehsan Sadiq stated that the criminal justice system in Pakistan should be responsive to play a very instrumental role in the protection of the rights of minorities. While policing issues of minorities, the officers must consider other social facts that enhance the marginality of the minorities.

He stated that the learnings at the top cadre level shall translate to junior officers adopting citizen-centric and victim-centred approaches.

Marry James Gill, from the Centre for Law & Justice, stated that state institutions should empathetically and institutionally respond to the problems of minority communities and neighbourhoods keeping in mind that they are marginalized, and hardened policing may enhance that.

Syed Kausar Abbas, Executive Director of Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) discussed that community policing, if adopted, can help address various issues and challenges in the protection of the rights of religious minorities.

The event was attended by officials of the Police Force, Civil Society Organizations and representatives from religious minority communities.

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