Punjab’s local government and Community Development Department have been directed to implement the order of Supreme Court regarding refereeing to Christians as Masihi. The order dated June 20, 2018 addressed the Director General, LG&CD Punjab, the Secretary, PLGB, all chief officers of metropolitan/ municipal corporations and district councils and municipal committees in Punjab.
“It has been complained despite the decision taken by the Council of Islamic Ideology in its 175th meeting held on 28th & 29th September, 2009 that there was no harm, as per Sharia injunctions, to refer to the members of Christians community as “Masihi: instead of “Esai”, no steps have been taken by the government in this regard.
Let the recommendation of the Council of Islamic Ideology be implemented in letter and spirit and arrangements should be made in all official records, documents, correspondence etc., to refer to the Christian community as “Masihi” instead of “Esai”, the order quoted.
“All Chief Officers Municipal Committees and Secretary Union Councils are hereby directed to comply with the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan and the recommendations of Islamic Ideology Council in letter and spirit in all official documents and correspondence, especially while recording entries of Birth/Death and Nikah/Marriage etc. in NADRA record as well”, the official order says.
On May 11, Friday, a two member bench of the apex court issued directions while hearing the petition case filed by a Pakistani Christian Samuel Pyara. This two member bench was chaired by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar himself. Justice Ijaz ul Hassan was the other member of this bench hearing the case number H.R.C.No.20171-B of 2018. Samuel Payara had moved the court regarding use of word ‘Masihi’ for Christians instead of ‘Esai’. The apex court directed all the authorities to refer to the Christian community as ‘Masihi’ officially.