DISCRIMINATORY ELECTORAL REFORMS<br>By Professor Salamat
22 May 2002
According to a number of Church based Christian Organizations and some other pro MUSHARRAF elements GENERAL PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, a true follower of the Quaid-e-Azam and a great lover of Allama Iqbal, after crushing the demons of terrorism, fanaticism, f
The critics of these Electoral Reforms and especially the talented and sane groups of the Christians term these reforms as discriminatory. They are of the view that only Joint Electorates can never deliver the good to the Christians because in spite of this spirit of nationalism the Christians are facing discriminatory laws in Political, Religious, Social, Cultural, Economic, Judiciary, Literary, Educational and Administrative fields of national life.
The major demerits of the present electoral reforms to minorities and especially the Christians or the cancellation of ten seats in National Assembly and round about 24 seats in Provincial Assemblies. This is an irreparable loss to the millions of the crushed, crippled and down trodden minorities. No member of the minority's communities accepts RANA CHANDAR SINGH of Sind would return to National Assembly. Secondly our Muslim brothers and sisters are not so broad minded, open hearted and progressive to vote for a Christian candidate set against a Muslim in the Arena of Politics. Thirdly no Muslim Political Party, in spite of its secular slogans can ever take the risk of losing a seat by issuing a ticket to a Christian canditate. Fourthly these Electoral Reforms have ruined the religious identity as well as the political leadership of minorities. Fifthly the discriminatory treatment towards minorities is visible from the fact that special seats have been reserved for women and the techno! Orates in the Parliament where as 34 seats of minorities, guarranted to them by the Constitution have been cancelled.
A good doctor not only diagnoses a disease but suggests a cure also. I recommend the following measures for the effective representation of minorities to the Parliament.
1-they should be awarded the right of double vote as awarded by the BRITISH to the Muslim Minority of India in the Indian Act of 1909.
2-General Tanveer Hussain Naqvi introduced this principle in the Elections of Local Bodies and once again he has granted the right of double vote to the women and the technocrats in the Electoral Reforms under discussion.
3-The Government should restore the seats awarded to the minorities by the Constitution of 1973 along with Joint Electorates on BHUTTO style positively.
4- The Government should direct the Political Parties contesting the Elections of October 2002 to reserve at least 3 seats for Non Muslim women in Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Assembly out of the seats reserved for women, three seats for non Muslim candidates in all units Parliament.
5-It would be highly appreciated if the present Government cancels all the amendments instead of cancellation of the amendment of minority seats in order to restore the Constitution of 1973 in its true letter and spirit.
6-Special Constituencies should be constituted for the minority candidate where only the minority candidates with tickets from the National Political Parties should contest.
I personally feel that it is the high time to change the Political Culture of Pakistan. The minorities should come forward with the vision to play their role in the National Politics. At the same time the National parties instead of creating Minorities Wings should accommodate their Minority members right from a local unit to the Central Body and at all Executive Posts as equal members of the parties. If the above-mentioned measures are adopted without delay, I am sure a new political culture would come up and place Pakistan at a very high Pedestal among the comity of the nations of the globe.