Sir: Senior lawyer and expert on law affairs Akram Shaikh has told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that a constitutional court has the authority to direct the government to legislate against those non-Muslims who purposely pretend to appear Muslim on paper when they are not. According to local English daily, he was assisting the court during Friday’s hearing of a petition filed by Maulana Allah Wasaya on the identification of alleged non-Muslims in government, semi-government and autonomous organisations who identify themselves as Muslims. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said that more than 10,000 people have changed their religious status from Muslim to Ahmadi in their Computerised National Identity Cards. He said a majority of these people had shown themselves as Muslims in a bid to have a government job and then changed their official religious status after retirement once they reached the age of 60. This was extremely shocking and shameful. Judiciary’s growing intervention in personal matters is stifling our debate culture and personal spaces. Though the Constitution has always been Islamic in nature, after Zia’s era, this is the first time religion has been turned into a tool to suppress dissent. Religion is a private matter, and the state’s growing interest in our religious beliefs is extremely worrisome. AKRAM ZAHID Lahore Published in Daily Times, March 3rd 2018.