A newspaper advertisement published in 2020 by the Tehsil Municipal Authority Central, Kurram District, KPK sought to fill positions for staff members including posts for driver, Naib Qasid, chowkidaar and janitor. What made the advertisement discriminatory was its declared preference for applicants belonging to “minority groups” or the “Christian Community” as the preferred choice of candidate for the said posts. The advertisement was not only morally offensive but also contrary to fundamental rights safeguarded by the Constitution. Such acts and omissions illustrate the societal mind-set that has become ingrained over the years and one that the state has turned a blind eye towards, if not supported and encouraged as evident by the advertisement in question, that looks down upon the “other” i.e. any person who happens to have a different faith, culture or identity than the majority population. This mind-set is dangerous and leads to anarchy, violence and eventually the break-down of state and society.
PILAP has written a letter to the Minister for Human Rights advocating for a direction to the KPK Chief Minister to see to the removal of the advertisement with immediate effect. We also request her to implement and seek enforcement of laws, rules, regulations and policies which forbid such discrimination. It will be a small step but will have a big impact in working towards changing intolerant mind-sets.