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‘All Christian Grand Alliance’ formed to protect minorities


May 19, 2018

Islamabad : The Chairman Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL), Sajid Ishaq, on Thursday announced launching ‘All Christian Grand Alliance’ with the objective to push forward the agenda of true representation of Christians in particular and other minority communities of Pakistan in general in the legislature at national and provincial level.

Sajid Ishaq, addressing a press conference at a local hotel, said that he launched a country-wide campaign for reaching out to the Christian community exactly a month ago on April 17 and since then he had been on a whirlwind country-wide tour to meet with the leaders of various Christian parties and groups.

“I believe I have substantially succeeded in my efforts to bring the Christian community on one platform to launch the struggle to get their Constitutional rights and a dignified place in the society as patriotic and hardworking Pakistanis.

“The presence of the leaders of 5 prominent Christian political movements, the Pakistan Minority Alliance (PMA), All Pakistan Christian League (APCL), Minorities Alliance Pakistan (MAP), the Maseehi Awami Party (MAP) and Rawadari Tehreek (RT) from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, North Punjab, Central Punjab and Sindh along with 5 elected District Members from Punjab is the strong evidence of the success of the campaign launched by PIL,” Sajid Ishaq said.

He said that the Christians unanimously demand the materialising of their long standing demand for electoral reforms for minorities. “And today, we have agreed to form this ‘All Christian Grand Alliance’ to pursue our goal jointly and vigorously. We have been deprived of our rights and we have been marginalized in the society. And now we have decided to launch concerned efforts specifically aimed at bringing about the much needed electoral reforms for minorities to ensure that they get their Constitutional rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” Sajid Ishaq said.

He said that the suggestion for forming a “All Christian Grand Alliance” was put up by PIL which was unanimously approved by the Christian Minorities of Pakistan as they are now well aware of the demands that need to be fulfilled for their true representation in the Parliament.

“PIL was being appreciated not only from Pakistani Christians but from overseas Christians for raising voice against the long pending injustices. The Church leadership and general masses have shown their full confidence and support for the campaign launched by Pakistan Interfaith League,” Sajid Ishaq said.

He said that PIL has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on May 15, 2018 appealing justice on the issues like the Federal Bureau of Statics to release Population Census data 2017 of Non-Muslim Pakistanis which is being unnecessarily delayed and causing ambiguities in the correct figure of the Minority population in Pakistan.

The PIL chairman said that the religious minorities believe that the Population Census data of the Non-Muslim Pakistanis is being intentionally held back in order to discourage their true representation in the Parliament.

“Our demand of increasing the reserved seats of the minorities was presented twice in the National Assembly between 2008 (PPP Government) and 2013 (PML-N Government). However, on both the occasions it was struck down on the pretext that the issue would be taken up after the next census.

“The plight of the matter is that even after the 2017 Population Census, the data of the Minority Population was deliberately held back and the living proof is that the Election Reforms Committee convened in 2017 had no comprehensive data on the Minority Population, thus yet again denying the Constitutional Rights of increasing the reserved seats of the Minorities as per their population and resulting in unequal distribution of representation,” Sajid Ishaq said.

He also voiced the grievance that the Election Reforms Committee comprised only of members of the majority community, with no member from the minority community.

Sajid Ishaq demanded that Electoral Reforms should be made and the present practice of ‘Selection’ should be abolished and ‘Election should be promulgated so that the minority representatives are accountable to their voters instead of the heads of the political parties who have chosen them.

He further pointed out that non-Muslim constituencies should be divided province wise, in accordance to their population in each province. He also demanded that the Constitutional Rights of minority communities should be observed by all the political parties of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and protection of the Rights of the non-Muslim Pakistanis should be incorporated in their party manifestos.

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