Pakistani Christians are under threat of Identity scratch
18 Jul 2012
Karachi: July 18, 2012. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC said here in a press statement that government is hatching conspiracy to introduce a term ‘Non-Muslims”
in forthcoming amendment in constitution for increase in reserved seats for minorities in parliament instead of previously term used “Reserved seats for Christians, Hindus, Ahmadi, Sikh and others” to scratch Identity of 20 million Pakistani Christians.
It will be noted that in same way: 4th Amendment in constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to declare Ahmadi Muslims to be non-Muslims by ZA Bhutto’s PPP government led to widespread violence against Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan.
Nazir Bhatti said “We warn committee comprising of Khurshid Shah, Farooq Naik and Paul Bhatti to refrain from excluding word “Minorities” and including word “Non-Muslims” in the Bill which they are preparing for increase in reserved seats in parliament to present in next meeting of cabinet and then for legislation in National assembly of Pakistan”
“We urge Committee members to classify numbers of seats in bill allocated for Christians, Hindus, Ahmadiyya and other religious minorities as it was in constitution of 1973 of Islamic Republic of Pakistan instead of including word non-Muslims” added Nazir Bhatti
There was ministry named “Religious and Minorities Affairs” in federation of Pakistan since independence of Pakistan in 1947, but on demand of Pakistani Christians, the Minorities Affairs Ministry became an independent portfolio in 2000.
Under 18th Amendment of constitution, the Minorities Ministry came under devolution but none of provincial government restored it with name of Minority Ministry.
Late Shahbaz Bhatti remained silent on devolution of Minority Affairs Ministry which he chaired but Christian organization launched agitation on which government of Pakistan commissioned a new ministry named National Harmony Ministry which is now occupied by his brother Paul Bhatti.
The government has declared 4% seats increase in National Assembly of Pakistan and provincial assemblies claiming it proportional to population of non-Muslims.
Nazir Bhatti said that Pakistani Christians have reservations on claims of 4% because minorities are 13% of Population of Pakistan.
In constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan: In 1973, 10 seats were allocated for minorities which were classified as 4 for Christians, 4 for Hindus, 1 for Ahamdiyyia and 1 for other religious communities which remained same in 1985,when 8th amendment was introduced in constitution. The total seats of National assembly were 132 in 1973, which rose to 240 in 1985 but minorities seats remained on figure of 10.
Nazir Bhatti said that in present assembly Christians have 2 seats; Hindus have 8 seats while Ahmadiyya community has no representation.
The minorities were enjoying Election on 10 reserved seats and electing their representatives by their votes in parliament from 1985 to 1997.
General Parvez Musharraf imposed Joint Electorate system which abolished Election on reserved seats and empowered Muslim political parties to select minorities’ individuals of their choice on reserved seats. General Musharraf also abolished classification of numbers of seats for Christians, Hindus and Ahmadiyyia and other.
Nazir Bhatti said Selection on 10 minorities reserved seats have created way of corruption in political system when who so ever pays high price to Muslim political party can have Selection to become Member of National Assembly of Pakistan or member of provincial assemblies.
The higher caste rich Hindus from Sindh can bribe more and have secured 8 seats in National Assembly while 2 Christian are on floor of house.
“I fear that using word “Non-Muslim” in bill of increase in reserved seats, the Muslim political group have planned to seek higher bidders for selection from wealthy Hindus, Parsi and Sikh communities while its doubted that Christian will never reach in National assembly of Pakistan” said Nazir Bhatti
Nazir Bhatti said that Pakistan Christian Congress PCC will keep struggling for rights of 20 million poor oppressed Pakistani Christians and to safeguard their identity of Christianity.
Nazir Bhatti clarified that we are Christians not non-Muslim and will oppose any conspiracy to scratch or identity in Pakistan.
“I urge President Asif Zardari to introduce Election instead of Selection on increased reserved seats in parliament” said PCC Chief