Since Pakistan's independence, 14 August 1947, to date Pakistan has had twelve elections, and now the nation is gearing up for the thirteenth general election scheduled for 25th of July 2018. While the majority community is looking forward to a fair fight and hopes to make gains for their political parties in general and for their communities in particular, the minorities in Pakistan are already crying foul. They are not crying foul because they are afraid that the elections will be rigged but because under the present "Proportional Representative System for minorities" introduced by General Pervaiz Musharaf in 2002, they do NOT have the right to elect their own representatives to the four Provisional Assemblies, nor to the National Assembly. Believe it or not, all the seats reserved for the minority representatives in all the five assemblies are filled by selected members by the leaders proportionately to the numerical strength of the seats their parties have won.
The Christians in Pakistan are calling this foul play - and of course, selection of candidates is NOT same as their election. In fact it is anything but that.
The above two columns represent not only the views of Mr Samson Javed, President of Pakistan Christian Press Club (PCPC), and of Mr Watson Gill, the convenor of the Overseas Christian Alliance but of nearly every member of Pakistan's Christian Diaspora that I know.
In the United Kingdom, for example, International Christian Council (ICC), headed by Advocate Qamar Shams, called an emergency meeting on 28th June 2018, in a venuel near Heathrow Airport to discuss this matter. Mr Naeem Waiz, the executive vice president, has informed cuwap.org that a unanimous decision was taken to condemn this unfair practice. About two weeks prior to this meeting, ICC had already called for a boycott of these elections.
When I have explained this system to our Muslim friends from Pakistan they two are shocked, as they have always been led to believe (as of course is the rest of the world), that the Christians in the Provincial Assemblies, (MPAs) and in the National Assembly (MNAs) are elected by the Christians. Alas, they are not. That's why I have felt it necessary that the above columns be shared widely.
© Akhtar Injeeli 30/06/2018