Pakistani Christians demand to repeal blasphemy law and voting rights neglected in proposed 18th Amendment
02 Apr 2010
Philadelphia, USA: April 2, 2010. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC said that Muslims parties have again stabbed at back of 20 million Pakistani Christians
by not repealing Blasphemy Law and awarding Dual Voting rights in proposed 18th amendment in constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The Constitutional Reform Committee comprising of parliamentarians of Pakistan Peoples Party PPP. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz PML(N), Pakistan Muslim League Quaid PML(Q), Muthida Qaumi Movement MQM, Awami National Party ANP, Jiamiat Ulma-e-Islam JUI(F), Pakistan Peoples Party Sherpao PPP(S) and others presented the draft legislation in reform of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the Speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan here today.
According to sources close to PCP, it was learnt that Constitutional Reform Committee members agreed to amend Artcle 52-B which empowers President of Pakistan to dissolve Parliament and nominate Chief of Staff of Armed Forces of Pakistan, Renaming of NWFP, Article 6 shall be made more forceful, Governors shall be appointed from same provinces and Senate seats shall be 104 instead of 100. The four seats shall be allocated for minorities from four provinces.
There was no representation to minorities in Constitutional Reform Committee but Chairman of Standing Committee told media that minority parliamentarians were consulted and their recommendations were given due consideration.
The 20 million Pakistani Christians have demanded on every forum to repeal blasphemy law and direct voting right to elect their parliamentarians by their votes but both demands were neglected by Constitutional Reform Committee.
Nazir Bhatti said “The long list of amendments proposed and passed by Reform Committee fall short to Christians demands”
“ Senator Raza Rabbani, Chairman of Constitutional Reform Committee statement that minorities were consulted need clarification that weather Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister for Minorities submitted revision in blasphemy law to committee as he is claiming since 2009 or not” said Nazir Bhatti
Dr. Bhatti said that allocation of 4 seats in Senate of Pakistan under Joint Electorate which empowers Muslim political parties to nominate and select their favorites from minorities shall be only benefit to Muslims groups who shall add these senators to their numbers in Senate of Pakistan.
“Muslim political groups have neglected Christian demands which is not good sign for democracy in Pakistan because safeguard of minority rights is first step to democratic system“ added Nazir Bhatti
Pakistan Christian Congress PCC demands to repeal blasphemy law and right to elect Christian representation in democratic institution and urges Christian members of National Assembly to raise their voice in house during debate on 18th amendment for legislation.