On 11th May, 2020, Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony notified the reconstituted National Commission for Minorities and its terms of reference which include ensuring that worship places of non-Muslim communities are preserved and kept functional. According to the notification, the commission will have six official and twelve non-official members, including the Chairman for a three-year term. The twelve members of the minorities commission comprises two from the Muslim community, three each from the Hindu and Christian communities; two from the Sikh community; one each from the Parsi and the Kalash community.
The member belonging to the Parsi (Zoroastrian) community in the commission is ex-senator Roshan Khurshed Bharucha. She belongs to Quetta and had been minister in the caretaker set-ups in Balochistan and federal cabinets. Chela Ram Kewlani, ex-president of Pakistan Hindu Council and a leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Sindh, has been notified as chairman of the new commission.
The six official members include one representative each from the Ministry of Interiors, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Human Rights, Federal Education and Professional Training. The chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs will also be official members of the commission.
According to the terms of reference, the commission will formulate proposal for development of a national policy to promote peace and interfaith harmony in the country. It will formulate proposals for amending laws/policies which are reported to be discriminatory towards religious minorities; recommend steps to ensure maximum and effective participation by the members of minority communities in all aspects; and ensure effective participation and association of minority communities with their religious and cultural festivals. The commission will also look into the grievances and representations made by minority community members.