Bishops shall regain political control on Christian after 17 years in Pakistan.
10 Oct 2002
The church leadership was in real agony with out the political control over Christians since 1985 when the separate elections were introduced in Pakistan. The lay man ministry became so strong and effective in Pakistan during these seventeen years th
Before separate electorate the Bishops have been visiting the governors and president to discuss the social and political problems of Christians and only the relatives and friends of the clergy in Pakistan were the beneficiary of the government privileges for the general Christians and the deserving Christians were neglected at large. The situation suddenly changed when for the very first time after 1966.
The Christians elected their local body, provincial assembly and national assembly representatives and these leaders took lead over Bishops to approach the administration. It was easy for the government to deal with the Christian leaders instead of clergy because the church leadership was never clear on Christian issues but always maintained the object that Christians are happy with the government policies when the secret agencies have been reporting that Christians are in disturbance and having feeling against the government. On losing control over politics meant losing control over congregation for the churches in Pakistan because now the general members of the churches were enquiring about the funds of the churches and accountability on their contributions. The churches have to step back on many times and to modify their objects on pressure of their congregation during these separate elections.
Sometime the foreign visits by these Bishops were also questioned in the services of the churches and donations collected by them during their tours abroad which made the church leadership uncomfortable with congregations.
A prominent Christian poet in Pakistan Dr. Adil Ghouri in his famous poem wrote that its best for the families to plan the profession of clergyman for their children in Pakistan to enjoy the luxurious life with all privileges of life. So, the pastor ship was counted among the best professions among families to prosper and have the beautiful mansions with modern jeeps rather than services to the community. We can say that separate elections were big blow towards this profession.
The liberation theory was imported but badly fail in Pakistan to keep the leadership of the Christians in political field because the Pakistani clergy was never sincere with the Christian cause but only working for their vested interests.
When we discuss the separate elections in Pakistan we observe that the Muslim political parties like PPP with the manifesto of joint elections never dared to introduce the joint elections and to amend the constitution with the fear and reaction from the Christian minority in Pakistan.
From 1990, the church leadership and church based NGO with very smart planning introduced the joint elections in the international forums and condemned the separate elections terming it to be the only root cause of blasphemy laws when the Christians were charged under the blasphemy laws. The international community has never experienced the separate elections and this term was new for them and it was very easy to mislead them on this issue.
This propaganda was very slow and effective on the victimization of Christians under blasphemy laws. It was never made clear that most of the Christians were arrested under blasphemy laws during the PPP government with the joint election manifesto and international community remained confused over separate election which was not made clear for their understandings by the Christian leaders of the general Christians.
In this military government the Bishops Conference became successful to restore the joint election and to bargain with the governments. Now the same old team of Clergy is in lead again in Pakistan. They are nominating candidates for selection for the Muslim political parties and seeking more and more support for their favorites in Pakistan but the time will tell that these Bishops Conference was not capable to deal with the government and to secure the rights of general Christians and Christians have to take control of their leadership for the safety of general Christians because the introduction of clergy in politics of the Christians again shall leave impression for the Muslim radical groups that churches re working against them in Pakistan which is very negative impression.