The higher education department of Punjab is planning some major changes in the curricula to promote religious and social tolerance in view of the Supreme Court’s observations in its June 18 verdict regarding the protection of minority rights.
The three judge bench, headed by chief justice Nasirul Mulk, will resume hearing of the case on Tuesday (today), wherein the federal and all provincial governments will submit their reports. Punjab home secretary, through Additional Advocate General Punjab Razaq A Mirza, has submitted a compliance report in the matter regarding the implementation of court’s judgment on the protection of minority rights.
The Punjab government in its report stated that the provincial higher education department had constituted a committee to give its recommendations for the inclusion in the college curriculum. The committee has given seven recommendations in this regard.
The committee proposed that myopic interpretation to be discouraged and the students to interpret religion in the spirit of Islamic liberalism, which says that “message of all faith is common and for benefit of the entire humanity”. Students will learn they are “different worshippers of a peaceful God”. They will learn to act upon the dictum “Love God and your neighbour”, it suggested.
The students will learn that “the spirit of pluralism reflected in the Holy Quran constantly points out that Muhammad (PBUH) had not proceeded to eliminate older religions.”
The proposed changes in curriculum further suggested that students will understand that “we are all members of one race of humans with similar challenges and we cannot confront these challenges without forging a common alliance. Sectarian, racial and ethnic biases will be discouraged,” it asserted.
The report submitted by provincial authorities stated that on the basis of these recommendations, specific suggestions have been prepared for changes in the curricula for language, social sciences, Islamiat and Psychology. According to a report of Schools Education Department, the top court’s instructions have been followed in the textbooks of different classes.
The report further revealed that five per cent quota has been reserved for minorities for all services in the province. “Special efforts are made for intelligence gathering and strict instructions are issued accordingly from time to time for the security of minorities and their worship places.”
Report on Kot Radha Kishan incident
Submitting a report over Kot Radha Kishan incident, wherein the Christian couple was burnt alive in a brick kiln on November 4, the Punjab police told the apex court that 138 persons were nominated as accused but only 59 are arrested in this case so far.
“The postmortem report also reveals that the cause of death of both the victims is burning with dry heat,” it submitted. The report was submitted by DCO Kasur and RPO Sheikhupura region, wherein it was stated that a joint investigation team (JIT), headed by SP Investigation Kasur, probed the case and hectic efforts are afoot to arrest the remaining accused.
About the collection of circumstantial evidences, the report tells that tractor trolley, broken articles including TV, papers including “Taweez” etc, broken lock, torn police uniforms and wooden rods used for torturing the couple have been taken into custody.
The report also said that police have been deployed in different areas to control any untoward situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2014.