SMC No.1 of 2014
Re Suo moto actions regarding suicide bomb attack of 22.9.2013 on the Church in Peshawar and regarding threats being given to Kalash tribe and Ismailies in Chitra being coerced toconvert to a different sect within Islam or to face death.
FoRB violation – Conscience (i.e. having or adopting a religion of one’s choice); Discrimination
(1) ‘It would be counter intuitive if the right to freedom of religion enshrined in Article 20 is interpreted in the manner which has the effect of encroaching upon religious freedoms of minority religions in Pakistan’.
(2)’The Supreme Court of Pakistan has invoked International Human Rights norms in numerous cases. It is evident from a bare reading of these provisions that the freedom of conscience cannot be separated from the freedom of religion. While the freedom of conscience is an individual right, the right to religion has both individual and community based connotations. Sub-article (a) of Article 20 of the Constitution also recognizes the individual and communal nature of the right to freedom of religion as it addresses “every citizen” and every religious denomination and every sect thereof” and one aspect cannot trump the other.
Moreover, the individual aspect to the freedom of religion applies both against inter-religion and intra-religion conflict’.
(3) ‘Article 20 must then be interpreted to guarantee the rights of the community as well as the right of the individual against those from his own or other religious communities – the ultimate goal being the eradication of religious intolerance in the society’.
(4) Pages 30-31 in the judgement provides for a list of directions issued to relevant Pakistani agencies in relation to religious minorities in Pakistan.