Lahore: Christians proffer their demands, call for separate electorate

Lahore: Christians proffer their demands, call for separate electorate

January 17, 2017

Pakistani Christians put forth their demands calling for a separate electorate. During a “Christian Leadership Conference,” Christian leaders unanimously agreed upon five demands. The resolution was signed by Archbishop of Lahore Francis Sebastian Shaw, and Chairman of Implementation of Minorities Rights Forum.

This conference was presided by prominent Christian leader Julius Salik who is a former Federal Minister for population. At this occasion, Christian educationist Professor Anjum James Paul and Professor Robin Daud also addressed the audience.

The participants of this conference condemned the current procedure of Joint Electorate. They said that this system has been imposed on religious minorities. This conference was attended by leaders from Catholic Church of Pakistan, Christian activists and Implementation of Minority Rights Forum. In a press release, these leaders expressed an ardent desire to stay united and struggle for their rights.

The resolution stated that minorities’ rights commissions must be formed in all the four provinces. At the same time, Christians had demanded implementation of the Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling regarding the religious minorities in the country. They urged that the verdict issued by then Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani must be put employed.

In an epic ruling, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had ordered for the constitution of a national council of minorities’ rights. The job of the said council was to observe the hands-on realization of the rights and safeguards delivered to the religious minorities under the constitution and law. The court stated that the council would also be mandated to frame efficacious policies recommendations in order to safeguard and protect minorities’ rights by the provincial and federal governments.

The resolution further read that the religious minorities should be allocated rightful representation at local, provincial and national levels. It was demanded that the minorities must be handed over their right to elect their representatives instead of being chosen by the political parties. Moreover, they demanded that the number of seats allocated for minorities; both at provincial and national levels.

Christian leadership also urged for equal rights for the minorities; keeping in line with the constitution of Pakistan. They said that the constitution bestows upon them equal rights which are not being dispensed to the minorities.

The resolution also called for an end to the hate speeches maintaining that the government should take steps against the elements that incite hatred by means of hate based literature, speeches, publications and other material.