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- Sunday, August 12, 2012 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad, who served as Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), on Saturday said a delegation of Hindu community members approached the electoral body in 2008 against alleged harassment and intimidation by a noted politician from Jacobabad.


“I vividly recall that a team of Hindus travelled all the way from Jacobabad to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission, met me and sought protection against a certain potential contesting candidate,” said the ex-secretary of ECP while talking to The News here.


Taking prompt notice of the complaint, he pointed out, they had directed then district returning officer (district and sessions judge) to investigate the matter and thereafter some measures were taken on this count.


In his comment on the reported fleeing of certain Hindu families from Jacobabad and some other areas to India, he said this was a blow to the related constituencies of the National Assembly and provincial assembly (PA) as well, entailing serious ramifications.


He noted the no-trust in the State by the minority also indicated the minority ministers serving in Sindh government were helpless in mitigating their sufferings to ensuring protection to them from influential elements.


Referring to the Article 2-A of the Constitution, the veteran electoral expert contended that in order to stop this extremely worrying trend of Pakistani Hindus leaving their homeland, the federal government must play its role. He said this reference of article clearly made it binding on the State to ensure protection to minorities, living in Pakistan.


Asked how and what role the Centre could play on this count, Kanwar Dilshad maintained that in the first place, the federal government should seek explanation from Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who also belonged to PPP as to why his provincial government could not pay heed to hue and cry of the Hindu community members over increasing crimes against them.


He urged President Asif Ali Zardari, being the head of the federation, to issue special directives for redressing the grievances and concerns of Hindus in the province.