Government snatches voting right from Pakistani Christians in Local Body elections
Karachi: September 8, 2013. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, Chief of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC has expressed grave concern on snatching right of minorities to elect their representation with their votes in local body elections bill of 2013.
From 1985 till 1997, Christians, Hindus and other religious minorities in Pakistan were electing their representatives in National Assembly of Pakistan, four Provincial Assemblies and Local Governments with their votes.
In 2000, some Christian tools met with military rulers General Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad and on intimation on ISI request him to repeal Separate Electorate system which allowed Christians and other religious minorities to elect their leaders with their votes.
The delegation who met Dictator Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad was comprised of Bishops of Pakistan and late Shahbaz Bhatti demanding Joint Electorate which empowers Muslim political parties to nominate Christians and Hindus in parliament.
Dictator Pervez Musharraf abolished elections of Christians, Hindus and other religious communities with their votes but allowed minorities to elect Local Government representatives with their votes.
But present governments in Pakistan and provinces have snatched voting right of minorities in Local Government Elections which are supposed to be held in year 2013, as per directions of Supreme Court of Pakistan.
PCC Chief Dr. Nazir Bhatti said “ The decision to select minorities representation is end of their voice in Pakistan because religious minorities were demanding to elect their representation in NA and PA,s with their votes but present regime have pushed them to wall with depriving them from right to vote”
Nazir Bhatti said that we will not allow Muslim majority to end our voice in Pakistan. He also condemned Christian and Hindu elements that are supporting government to end minority’s voice in Pakistan.
PCC Chief urged government of Pakistan to restore equal constitutional rights of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadi Muslims to elect their representatives with their own secret ballot instead of selection or nomination by Muslim political parties.
“The religious minorities had experienced complete silence of Select Members in National Assembly during 18th, 19th and 20th Amendments in constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan when election rights were bulldozed by Muslim parties and federal ministry for minorities was scraped” said Nazir Bhatti
Nazir Bhatti added “Indian democracy is biggest democracy in world where mainstream political parties award tickets to religious minorities and voters vote to elect them while Pakistan is a theocratic state where Muslim do not vote for Christian, Hindus and other religious minorities candidates because Muslim thinks that his vote will be polluted if casted for non-Muslims, in such situation to snatch right of vote of non-Muslims for non-Muslim is very serious issue which must be resolved unless Christians take right action”
The government of India had policy of reservation in jobs for religious minorities to bring them in mainstream while Pakistan never adopted such measure to provide job opportunities to religious minorities in Pakistan.
PCC Chief said that handpicked and favorite of Muslims will enter in Local Governments which will be undemocratic and unconstitutional which Christian will oppose on every forum.