Rights groups in Pakistan have welcomed the establishment of the nation's first human rights task force but remain to be convinced that it will change anything for persecuted minorities.
"The task force shall include members of civil society, journalists, priests, pastors as well as Islamic scholars," said Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Khalil Tahir Sandhu at a Sept. 7 press conference. "They shall review the progress of provincial departments on a quarterly basis and recommend capacity building initiatives and seek data to assess the human rights situation in Punjab."
Church groups have been pushing for a police force to protect churches and Christian settlements since 2014 when the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to form a task force to ensure religious harmony. The group would be responsible for protecting places of worship, acting against religious hate on social media, and the formation of a national council to ensure the security of minorities, according to the 32-page order.