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Additional Secretary Home Department assures effecting of security plan of Punjab’s churches

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The Additional Secretary Home Department (internal security) has assured that the plan for security of churches in Punjab province will be implemented. Additional Secretary Home Department Asif Tufail said this during a meeting with the delegates of minorities.

Churches in Pakistan

On Thursday, March 1 a delegation of minorities’ leaders called on him. During this meeting Asif Tufail assured his guests that the security plan for the churches in the province will be implemented. He guaranteed the Christian community the effecting of the plan for security of churches in Punjab. Talking to the delegation, he said that in this regard steps will be taken in order to ensure carrying out of the plan.

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He said that he would address the concerned officials and security lapses will be evaluated in order to improve the security measures to be adopted for the churches. He further said that a circular will be issued to all the regional commissioners so that the plan is implemented. Asif Tufail explained that it is Punjab Government’s duty to ensure safety of worshipers at the churches. He termed it provincial government’s prime duty to protect Christians when they go to churches.

During the meeting, the delegation also demanded that Supreme Court’s verdict concerning the religious minorities in the country must also be implemented. On June 19, 2014 the Apex Court while hearing the Suo Moto case of Peshawar Church bombing directed the Federal Government to establish a National Council for minorities’ rights.

Then Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani in his 32-page verdict authored: “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.”

Moreover, the Supreme Court had also ordered formation of a special task force. The task force would be responsible to take measures for the protection of worship places of minorities. The Apex Court stated that whenever a case of violation of minorities’ rights or desecration of the places of worship of minorities the concerned law enforcing agencies should register a criminal case against the wrongdoers.

“We find that the incidents of desecration of places of worship of minorities could be warded off if the authorities concerned had taken preventive measures at the appropriate time. The court also found that the inaction on the part of law enforcement agencies was on account of the lack of proper understanding of the relevant law,” the Apex court said.