11/09/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Christians in Pakistan’s Punjab province are celebrating the news that they will finally be allowed to directly elect provincial officials to represent their community. According to Christian politicians, this news is the fulfillment of a long standing demand of the Christian community.
Historically, a select number of seats in Pakistan’s government have been reserved for religious minorities. However, instead of being directly elected by members of minority communities, victorious political parties selected and appointed individuals from minority communities to fill these reserved seats.
This process led to Pakistani Christians feeling that they were not represented by the individuals holding the reserved seats. Instead of loyally representing the Christians community, the individuals appointed to the reserved seats often put party above community.
Now that Christians will be allowed to directly elect their own representatives in the upcoming provincial elections in Punjab, many feel that they will finally have representative in government.
“There can be no better news than Pakistani minorities getting the right to elect their representatives through direct election,” Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, Chairman of the Punjab Minority Alliance, told UCA News. “This is a huge relief if it is true.”
“For too long religious minorities have been deprived of their right to elect their public representatives,” Aftab Gill, Spokesperson for the Pakistan Masiha Millat Party, told UCA News. “Our minority lawmakers were unwilling to hear, let alone address, our problems because they did not come into power from our votes. They were selected by political parties based on their seats in the parliament.”
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