We need to highlight Bangladesh Supreme Courts verdict of January 3, 2010, ordering a ban on the abuse of religion for political purposes. The court observed that the countrys constitutional framework should guarantee religious tolerance and religious freedom. The state shall not be seen in favor of any particular religion or sect, rather it should ensure protection to the followers of all faiths without discrimination. We, Pakistanis, would do well to remember what the Father of the Nation said on August. 11, 1947 while defining the fundamental principles of the new countrys constitution. He said, You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed; that has nothing to do with the business of the state... But soon after the country independence, these principles were sidelined allowing religious and sectarian politics to thrive. The religious parties of the country, ultimately, became tools of military dictators who ruled the country while promoting sectarian politics to perpetuate their rule. Its obvious that in a multi-religious and multi-sectarian country, you cant enforce rules of any one specific group. It would only have disastrous results. The inter-sectarian violence taking place in Pakistan during the last few months is enough to prove the point. Our problems have been further augmented by an ethnic group and its vicious activities. This party is exploiting every ruling party. It is time Pakistani leaders, politicians, educationalists and scholars agreed on a new constitutional social contract, guaranteeing equal rights to all of its citizens regardless of their religious, sectarian, ethnic, and linguistic or gender background. The Bangladesh Supreme Court verdict sets a practical road map to achieve this goal. -RAHIM BUX ABRO, Rohri, March 8.