In a resolute commitment to justice and unity, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Atta Bandial has assured that proper investigations will be conducted before any action is taken in cases, particularly those involving blasphemy charges against minority communities. He emphasized that seeking refuge in other countries is not a viable solution.
A delegation comprising leaders from the Sikh and Christian communities, led by PSGPC President Sardar Amir Singh, convened at the CJP’s office in Islamabad. Their purpose was to apprise the Chief Justice of the challenges that Pakistan’s minority communities continue to face nationwide.
The Sikh leaders provided a comprehensive overview of the pressing issues, shedding light on the disturbing trend of selective and deliberate attacks on Sikh merchants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Punjab, Hindus in Sindh, and Christians in Punjab. The delegation also submitted documented evidence detailing the attacks on minority members over the past two years. Disturbingly, this evidence included instances where individuals, under duress, were compelled to sell their homes and leave the country, often seeking refuge in India.
One notable development discussed during the meeting was the impending departure of approximately 20-22 Sikh families from Peshawar. These families are currently awaiting Indian visas to secure permanent residency. The delegation also highlighted the alarming surge in violence against Christians and Hindus, along with the desecration of their places of worship. These acts of aggression are frequently fueled by baseless accusations of blasphemy, a matter of deep concern for the Chief Justice.
Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial was unequivocal in his stance that non-Muslim populations are integral citizens of Pakistan, deserving of equal rights and protections. He reaffirmed his intention to liaise with the relevant authorities to ensure thorough and impartial investigations are conducted, particularly in cases involving minority communities. The Chief Justice emphasized that fleeing the country or relocating elsewhere is not a sustainable solution. Instead, he called for leaders from all walks of life to unite in countering the looming threat of interfaith conflicts.
The delegation included prominent figures such as Samuel Piyara Masihi, pastor of Islamabad Church, Bishan Singh, Amrik Singh from Lahore, Dharam Singh, Kaka Singh from Shri Nankana Sahib, Gurcharan Singh from Panja Sahib, Baba Makkhan Singh, Baba Gurpal Singh, and Sahab Singh from Peshawar. As a token of respect, Sardar Amir Singh presented the Chief Justice with a shawl and a ceremonial sword. In return, Chief Justice Bandial presented the delegation with a shield bearing the emblem of Pakistan’s esteemed Supreme Court. This meeting marked a crucial step towards fostering unity and collaboration to protect the rights and dignity of Pakistan’s minority communities.