PCC welcomes Catholic Church of Pakistan demand for voting rights in LB elections in Punjab
Karachi: October 5, 2015. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC said in a statement issued here today from Central Secretariat of PCC that Pakistan Christian Congress welcomes demand made by Archbishop Sebastian Shah of Lahore dioceses of Catholic Church of Pakistan in a press release to give voting rights to Christians to elect their councilors in forthcoming Local Bodies elections in Punjab.
The Christians in Pakistan were electing their representatives on reserved seats in National Assembly of Pakistan, four Provincial Assemblies and in Local Bodies elections with their votes from national general elections from 1985 to 1998, under Separate electorate system but Catholic Church of Pakistan, Church of Pakistan and NGO,s affiliated with it demanded Joint Electorate system funneling millions rupees fund under slogan of entering mainstream politics.
The Bishops Conference of Pakistan in meeting with Dictator General Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad again demanded Joint Electorate who imposed it with Presidential Order scratching Separate Electorate which enabled minorities to elect their representation in parliament.
In Joint Electorate which demanded Pakistani Christian clergy and their political wings empowered Muslim political group to bag Christian votes and to select their representatives on reserved seats in parliament in national general elections of 2002, under Pervez Musharraf regime.
Apart from Selection System by Muslims on reserved seats in Parliament, in Local Bodies Election, the Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and other religious communities were electing their councilors with their votes which is withdrawn by Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan governments in Local Bodies elections in 2015 elections.
Dr. Nazir Bhatti said that it is good sign that Catholic Church of Pakistan and Church of Pakistan clergy have admitted their mistake of demanding Joint Election system and demanded voting right for Christians to elect their leaders in Local Bodies elections but still they fall short when not demanding elections on reserved seats in parliament for minorities.
“Pakistan Christian Congress PCC is demanding Dual Voting rights for Christians since 1985, that Christians may elect their representation with their votes on reserved seats while costing their vote to mainstream political groups in their respective constituencies which is only solution to bring minorities in mainstream politics of Pakistan and PCC invites Pakistani Christian clergy to follow PCC Dual Voting right demand” said PCC Chief
Nazir Bhatti urged Election Commission of Pakistan to take notice of amendments made by provincial governments to snatch voting right of Christians in Local Bodies elections and restore their voting rights.