Protection of Minorities Unit
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The protection of religious minorities is imperative for upholding fundamental human rights and fostering social equality in society. Beyond legal considerations, safeguarding religious minorities contributes to social harmony and peaceful coexistence. The Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Articles 20 and 36 in particular, provide for safeguarding the rights of individuals to practice and propagate their faith. Article 25 of the Constitution provides for equality before the law and equal protection for all citizens irrespective of their race, religion and creed. In addition to constitutional provisions, general and special laws have specific provisions to ensure the protection of minorities. For instance, hate speech is an offence under Pakistan Penal Code, Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.

Despite constitutional and legal measures, religious minorities face hardships in seeking justice due to institutional biases, societal prejudices, under-representation in the justice system and perceptional barriers to interacting with the police and reporting crimes. Addressing these challenges necessitates policy reforms, diversity initiatives (like cultural sensitivity training and modifying recruitment practices), and community policing strategies to build trust and ensure fair treatment within the justice system. In recognition of these concerns, the NPB acting as the secretariat of the National Police Management Board (NPMB), has established the Protection of Minorities Unit (PMU). With an overarching goal of ensuring the safety of religious minorities, the PMU is mandated to perform the following functions:


      1. Collect data on various crimes against minority communities, monitor the progress in the investigation of cases, analyze crime trends, and generate reports;
      2. Collaborate with all police organizations and relevant ministries to ensure effective coordination and implementation of laws and policies related to the protection of minority rights;
      3. Identify issues and gaps in minorities’ access to the police and the justice system, in collaboration with government organizations, civil society and international stakeholders. Suggest policy actions to address these challenges effectively;
      4. Draft standard SOPs, guidelines, checklists, and procedures for police organizations to ensure an effective response to crimes against minorities;
      5. Organize trainings, sensitization programs and seminars for police prosecution and judicial officers;
      6. Evaluate police response measures, and monitor police accountability in case of non-responsive or unprofessional conduct, to ensure justice and adherence to legal standards.