A timely call for challenging the imposed religiosity of the parallel arm of the establishment has been raised by the caretaker Minister for Information and Law, Syed Ali Zafar. Refuting the discriminatory order by Justice Siddiqui which deems the declaration of faith compulsory for joining civil services, the interim Minister’s stance is laudatory and neceassry, at a time when extremist credos are claiming innocent lives in the name of religion.

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It should be asserted that the ruling of the Islamabad High Court deeming the right of a citizen to choose to not disclose personal beliefs as being treason, is a despotic attempt at enumerating the minority population, further exposing it to brutality. Such discrimination based on faith, in terms of employment is a violation of human rights, and is diametrically opposed to the mandate of the institution of justice.

In the wake of the horrific attacks on progressive parties by radical elements, it is absolutely crucial that the establishment stands up to the subversive dogmatic elements in the superstructure of the country. Where dogmatic parties like TLP and MML, with publicised affiliations with militant outfits are being blatantly mainstreamed in politics using platforms that are based on hate-speech and bigotry, suchorders from a judicial authority further legitimise their malevolent agendas, opening up the country to faith-based hate crimes and ethnic cleansing.

Elements in the judiciary are known to recurrently tint their rulings with personal religiosity. However, the more pressing concern is whether the incoming government would have the temerity to take such a principled and courageous stance to surmount the rising tide of dogmatic ideologies across the judicio-political spectrum.

With PTI recently stoking the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat controversy and fanning anti-Ahmedi sentiments to pander to conservative allies, it seems that mainstream political parties –despite all allusions to being progressive- are more likely to sacrifice their ethical obligations on the altar of political expediency. It is hoped that the caretaker ministers’ valor in this instance is emulated.