Christians urged to stay away from these polls under amendments package. Nazir Bhatti.
16 Jul 2002
New York. July 14. Mr. Nazir S Bhatti, Founder President, Pakistan Christian Congress said that abolishment's of minority reserved seats in parliament by the government have lost interests of Christians in forthcoming national general election in Pak
He said that under article 51, subsection 2A of the Islamic republic of Pakistan constitution of 1973 minorities have been allocated the 10 seats in national assembly of Pakistan on multiple systems under joint elections. By the 8th amendment in constitution the joint elections were replaced by the separate election system to enable the minorities to elected their representatives by their own votes on these 10 reserved seats to avoid the imposed leadership by the treasury benches of their own choice on minorities in the house. He added that legislative assembly of the 1973 constitution was fully aware of the facts that minorities candidates can not win any seat in elections in any constituency of Pakistan and they were provided with the privilege to contest election from any constituency or vote for the Muslim candidates but to secure their right of representation in parliament the reserved seats were allocated for them along with the reserved seats for women.
Mr. Nazir Bhatti expressed his gave concern on abolishment of minority reserved seats in parliament by this constitutional amendment package and urged Christians to stay away from these polls when their interests in the state have been totally damaged by this government and their voice have been crushed in the democratic system of Pakistan. He said that it was long standing Christian demand to reserve seats for them in the senate of Pakistan but instead of considering their views their representations in national assembly and provincial assemblies have been abolished.
Mr. Bhatti said that Pakistan Masih League as Christian political party participated in national general elections of the legislative assembly in 1971 under the legal framework by the martial government of Yehya Khan on 33 constituencies but non his candidates was successful because the Muslim voters considered it un Islamic to vote for non Muslim candidates. In the light of 1971 elections the article 51-2A was included in the constitution of Islamic Republic Of Pakistan.
Mr. Nazir Bhatti demanded the restorations of minority-reserved seats in the elections under joint elections to bring the minorities in the mainstream of society. He said that PCC should announce its decision to participate in the elections as single party or with any moderate alliance on July 26 after meeting of PCC leaders at Lahore. He urged Christians to stay away from these elections unless the all-Christian organizations built consensus on the interests of Christians in the next parliament where there shall be again no minority representative after 19 years.