Dual Vote is Necessary for the Minorities of Pakistan. By Ishaq Yaqub


On 12 1947, August a resolution was approved regarding officially addressing, Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, as the founder of Pakistan. On the same day, there was a Committee which was called" Committee on Fundamental rights of Citizen and Minorities of Pakistan". It is clear that the importance was given to the minorities for their rights but later on there was nothing special for them. The Minorities of Pakistan, especially Christian of Pakistan have been faced so many problems about their fundamental rights to elect their members for the legislature assemblies.
The constitution of 1973 purpose the joint electoral for all the citizen of Pakistan without discrimination.. And everybody can take part without discrimination of religion. It is according to the idea of Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan. Because all the citizen of Pakistan are equal. But Gen. Zia-ul-Haq's period, there were several laws introduced which stop the development of the poor people, especially the deprived sectors and minorities of the country. In 1979, Local bodies’ election on separate basis was introduced by Gen.Zia-ul-Haq and later on the same method of election was in1985 for general elections. By these elections (separate elections) it was said that election will be only on religious basis in the country. In the name of separate election, religion was more active, during his time of his Government. The lose of this kind of election was that religious minorities were not able to take part in the national activities. And all the minorities were feeling complex.
In spite of this action, on 11 August 1947, Qaid-Azam said in his speech to the first constitutional Assembly that all the citizen of Pakistan are free and they can go to any place of worship according to their faith.. The state has no concern either you are Hindu or Muslim. We are all equal citizen of Pakistan. So regarding the words of Muhammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan, we cannot ignore them. Because it is forever and he has given his statement, and he opened his heart. Although so many times this speech has been quoted by the writers or by politicians but his words has the power and truth by the time and situation of Pakistan.
If we see the whole history of Pakistan we can understand that in Pakistan all the ways minorities have been struggling for their fundamental rights but they are been ignored. The governments have been making decisions for the minorities but without informing them. Even all the decisions were made without their presentation in the house of work. In 1970, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, nationalized many industries of Pakistan from the private sectors. As Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian nawaz Shaief criticized the policy of Zulifqar Ali Bhutto the former (late) Prime Minister. In the same time, not only the industries but missionary schools also. By this action of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Christian people of Pakistan lost their identification. For this action, no one asked the Christians, either they agree for this action or not.
The minorities of Pakistan especially Christian people of Pakistan struggled a lot, to change this kind of theory but in vain. They tried to change the system of separate election. They considered that by this kind of election minorities got separation from the main stream. Even they protested so many times, they put memorandum in front of the government. Even in seminars, press conferences, visits to the government officials, had dialogues with the government envoys, hunger strikes and put letters with the signs of the civil societies. But the mood of the government could not come on the proper place.
At the last, when the former president of Pakistan Gen. Parvez Musharraf's time there was another way of election was introduced and he just nominated the member for the National Assembly of for the Provincial assemblies too. . According to LFO, which was issued on 24th August 2002, it was announced that. The reserve seats for the non-Muslims will be through the proportionate system of the seats of the political parties in the National Assembly. Although he brought the minorities on the main stream of the country but in complete and there was lacking, regarding the rights and wishes of the minorities. Now again nobody asked the minorities about their need or census. The government did not feel to ask them their views. The result of this way of nomination was that several people who were in the parliament were never part of the politics. Even they were not the real representative of the minorities. The people came forward those who paid a lot to the party. The nominated members have been taken from the big cities not, from the remote areas. They don't feel that they are the envoy of the minorities. After the LFO, the democratic government PML (Q),did not take any action about the problem of the minorities.
Even the last Government of PPPP was unconcerned regarding the election or nomination. Although the Government of PPPP reserved the seats in the Senate but there is still need of more seats in the National assembly or in the provincial Assemblies, according to the new policies. When the government of PPPP took decision on the 18th amendment, there was no envoy of the minorities and after that when there commission was appointed by the government to work on the province of southern Punjab again there was no one representative of the minorities of Pakistan. It is very hard luck of the minorities that they are still struggling for their rights.
Now there is a big need of the minorities as 66 years have been passed the foundation of Pakistan, the minorities are still in try to find their rights and peace in their hearts. They feel that it is their need to fix the duel votes in the elections for minorities to use for their rights.
First of all that the separate elections should be there, ward by ward for the national assembly not the whole Pakistan but by easy and accessible ward. In the same way for the provincial Assemblies too. And on the other hand minorities should have the rights to use their votes for the general elections to elect the Muslim candidates also. In this way the minorities can feel satisfied. This is the voice of all the minorities of Pakistan and this is the proper and right path for the people of Pakistan to go on the right place. Than the minorities of Pakistan can feel that it is the right of the minorities to join the main stream. In coming election this should be done in all sorts of election. Otherwise there will be no remedy for their wounds.

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