30,000 govt vacant minority seats worries SC

Suddle tells court that quota does not specify Hindus, Christians, Sikhs


Our Correspondent September 28, 2021
A file photo of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday expressed its concern over more than 30,000 vacant job slots for minorities in the government employment quota.

A three-member bench of the apex court, presided by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed, was hearing a suo-moto case about the Rahim Yar Khan Hindu temple attack.

Shoaib Suddle, who heads the one-man commission formed over the matter, informed the court that 5% quota was allocated for minorities in government sector jobs.

“The government job quota for minorities does not specify Hindus, Christians, Sikhs or others,” Suddle said.

“There are currently 30,000 vacant jobs slots for minorities across the country.”

The apex court, while expressing its concern, remarked that the court had been informed that the federal, Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan governments were not recruiting minorities according to the quota.

The apex bench also directed that the federal government and the provincial chief secretaries should cooperate with the Suddle-led commission and the relevant authorities should take prompt action on minority employment issues and submit a report in this regard.

The top court also acknowledged that the Rahim Yar Khan Temple had been rebuilt following the attack.

Read More: ‘Minorities have equal stake in Pakistan’

On August 5, dozens of people reportedly vandalised a Hindu temple in the town of Bhong and blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway after an eight-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated in a local seminary, was granted bail by a local court.

Police then rounded up 52 suspects, including the main accused, involved in the vandalising of the temple.

“Raids are underway to arrest the others and a search operation is underway in the entire area. We have booked them on terrorism charges as well as other offences,” Punjab IGP Inam Ghani told the media.

Local philanthropist Raees Munir Ahmed has donated 10 kanals for setting up a police station in Bhong, the SC noted.

It added that Raees Munir was ready to give another 25 acres as a gift for the construction of Sadiqabad Interchange on Multan-Sukkur Motorway.

The apex bench stated that the chairman of the National Highway Authority (NHA) and the planning secretary should appear in person at the next hearing and inform the court about the construction of the Sadiqabad Interchange. The CJP also asked the NHA chairman if he had seen the condition of motorways and highways.

“I have been told that, on paper, the Chitral-Gilgit Highway had been constructed three times. In Sindh, the motorway is just in name. There are no restrooms on the Multan-Sukkur Motorway,” the CJP observed.

The judge asked what steps were being taken and instructed the NHA official to have answers ready for the next hearing.
 

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