Peshawar High Court orders inclusion of Kalash in census
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has ordered inclusion of Kalash region on the national census form prior to second phase of the exercise commencing from April 25.
The two-judge PHC bench issued directives to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to effect the new change.
The orders came during a hearing of writ petition filed by members of the Kalash community. The government was represented in court by the deputy attorney general.
Sabir Awan, the petitioner’s lawyer, informed the court that the Kalash people subscribe to one of the oldest known religions of the region, and that their members continue to live in three remote villages in district Chitral.
Awan told the court that exclusion of the religion from the census form would be an injustice to the community and a violation of law, which guarantees equal rights to all its citizens. He pointed out that almost all major religions were included in the form except Kalash.
The members of the Kalash community hailed the decision.