It is a glaring fact that The Local Bodies Elections play a vital role in the development of democratic and human values in a democratic state. These institutions have double importance. They are the Centers of Leadership training and at the same time they enable the elected members to solve various kinds of problems of the people at their door.
The minorities of Pakistan and especially The Christians and the Hindus, who, constitute a major portion of the Pakistani Nation have given a very serious thought to the injustices towards them in the new Local Bodies set up. In the first and second phases of the Elections, they boycotted the polls successfully. However, at the later stages the Govt. managed to force some Agents of the Agencies, Police Touts, Wine Sellers, Drug Addicts and Criminal Minded Minorities Leaders to contest polls to make the programme of the Govt. a success.
Some of the major causes of the boycott of the Local Bodies Elections are as under:
A. The Principle of Separate Electorate.
All Pakistan Joint Minorities Action Committee, The Christian Organization for Social Action in Pakistan (COSAP) consisted on seven effective organizations, MRJ (Movement for Restoration For Joint Electorate System) headed by Sadham Chand Chawala and Bishops of both Catholic as well as Protestant Churches have launched a countrywide compaign for the Restoration of Joint Electorates in the wider interest of Pakistan. They are convinced that Separate Electorates are against the Quaid's Ideology of Pakistan and the spirit of The Charter of Madina, The Charter of UNO, The Constitution of Pakistan (1956, 1962, 1973) The Quranic Instructions and the Life of The Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH). General Pervez Musharraf has introduced Separate Electorates after backing out of his promises under the pressure of the Mullas and fundamentalist forces. The minorities vehemently condemn this system because it has divided the Pakistani Nation into five fragments. The Muslims, the Christians, The Hindus, The Sikhs and others. They are of the view that only a complete end of the cancer of the Separate Electorate System can bring a perfect Political and Social Harmony amongst the people of Pakistan.
B. Flagrant Violation of Human Rights
The second potent cause of the boycott is the flagrant violation of Human Rights According to the golden teachings of the major religions all the human beings are equal and enjoy equal rights. The Local Bodies Elections in Pakistan have negated this universal truth for example:
1) General Pervez Musharraf is entitled to cast five votes, General Jullian Peter is permitted only one vote. This principle has been observed right from the President to the peon.
2) The Non Muslims are debarred from contesting for the seats of Nazims and Naib Nazims even in the Union Councils where they are in majority. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has granted them this right but after the completion of the process. It has rightly been said by an Oriental Poet that
" After my murder repented he from his terrorism
How sooner has he felt ashamed of his tyranny!"
3) The Non Muslim women, laborers and peasants have been completely ignored despite their committed contribution in nation building. They can neither contest the seats reserved for them nor they can vote the Muslim Candidates of these seats.
4) A Muslim male voter is entitled to contest 9 seats and a Muslim woman 11 seats right from Union Council to Distt Council where as a Non Muslim voter male or female is permitted only one vote at each stage.
5) Since Nazims and Naib Nazim would be elected directly so the members of the Union Councils including the Non-Muslim Councilors would have no political, social or ethnic role to play.
6) This system has placed a black spot on the fair name of equality, fraternity and democracy. It has usurped the rights of The Muslims to the votes of the Non Muslims and Vice Versa.
C. Conspiracy Against the Minorities
The present rulers of Pakistan have made, the best use of a fatal weapon called DIVISION to crush the minorities. Separate Electorates have already divided the Pakistani Nation on ethnic and sectarian basis. The plan of "Devolution of Power" has further divided the minorities in minor groups of caste, color creed and congregation. They are fighting like brutal animals in big cities under Govt umbrella. The believers of equality, fraternity and universal brotherhood and the well wishers of Pakistan consider this plan as a very deep-rooted conspiracy against the crushed, crippled and down trodden minorities of Pakistan. However we, are determined to face, fight and fail this conspiracy at all costs.
Physician Head Thyself
The rulers and the fanatics criticize South Africa, America, Israel and even India for practicing religious apartheid but in Pakistan the same is being practiced. PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF is any humble advice to the rulers and fanatics of Pakistan.
Challenge For A Dialogue
If some body has a doubt in his mind about the mal treatment towards minorities of Pakistan and about the abuses and merciless killing of the Blasphemy Laws, I challenge him for a dialogue at the platform of his own choice.