Nazir Bhatti urges President Bush in a letter to press upon Pakistan Government to repeal blasphemy laws, revival of Separate Electorate and Minority Commission during his meeting with President Musharraf.
27 Feb 2006
George W. Bush,
President, United States of America,
I, the undersigned, Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, Founder President of Pakistan Christian Congress, and Editor, Pakistan Christian Post wish to pay homage and gratitude on your noble cause to raise dignity of human being on globe through democracy. It is submitted that Christians life and property is not safe due to constant threats by extremist Muslim elements in Pakistan. It is very important to note that Christians in Pakistan have been deprived of basic and equal constitutional democratic rights under Islamic Republic of Pakistan Constitution. Therefore Christians of Sub-continent in general and Christians of Pakistan in particular are looking forward on your tour to Pakistan-India as an end to their sufferings and miseries. I shall invite your kind attention on some facts and hope your honor shall press upon government of Pakistan to ensure justice for Christian minority as well as other religious minorities.
Sir, The incidents of assassination of pastors, setting ablaze churches and missionary schools are at continuous rise after implementation of blasphemy laws and Shariat Bill which have created feelings of insecurity among Christians. The abduction, rape and enforced conversion of Christian women to Islam is duly protected under Islamic laws of Evidence and denies justice to victims as well as to their families. The Christian youth do not have equal rights of admission in higher educational institutions and employment opportunities in government establishments. The enforcement of Objective Resolution as preamble of Constitution and implementation of Hadood Ordinance have damaged social justice in Muslim dominated society for Christians. The introduction of Joint Electorate system have snatched democratic right of Christians to elect their representatives in parliament and such un-democratic measures have turned 15 million Christians to be second-class citizens in Pakistan.
I would like to bring on record that Government of Pakistan has failed to constitute " Minority Commission" headed by Supreme Court Justice and other relevant institutions accordingly under Liaquat-Nehro Pact of 1951, the agreement signed by Pakistan and India to ensure safety and security of religious minorities in respective countries after division of Sub-continent in 1947. The Indian Government respected the pact in true spirit and established independent Minority Commission under Supreme Court Justice in 1952, providing Muslim Indian minority an opportunity of presentations and recommendations for legislation. The ' Muslim Board of India" was also established to protect personnel law of Muslims. The Muslim religious minority and Dalits have been treated so fairly that these communities in India are enjoying special quota proportional to population in government jobs and admissions in professional and higher educational institutions.
I wish to request your honor to raise issue in meeting with President Musharraf to repeal blasphemy laws and to amend Hadood Ordinance that Islamic laws may not be used to victimize Christian minority. We also hope that "Minority Commission" shall be constituted under Supreme Court justice according to Liaquat-Nehro Pact with your kind support to religious communities after visit to Pakistan
I would also wish to submit that " Joint Electorate for Minorities" introduced in 2000, is an election system empowering Muslim political groups to nominate and select Christian representation in National Assembly of Pakistan and Provincial assemblies. In Joint electorates, Christians vote for Muslim representatives and then Muslim parliamentarian impose Christian representation of their own choice on them.
Mr. President, The Christian representation may be imposed on them to whom they have not voted is by no means a democratic system under joint electorate. Therefore, I shall request your honor to press upon government of Pakistan to revive " Separate Electorate with Dual Vote" which provides democratic rights to Christians to elect their representation and also to vote Muslim candidates in respective constituencies as it is already practiced by Kashmiri Muslims living in Pakistan.
May Lord bless you.
Dr. Nazir S Bhatti,
Founder President, Pakistan Christian Congress
Editor, Pakistan Christian Post
Dated: February 27,2006.