Will Pakistan ever give right to vote to minorities like India? By Dr. Nazir S Bhatti
The national general elections of 2014, of Indian Lok Sabha are underway, leaving behind many questions in minds of religious minorities of Pakistan that will they ever be able to enjoy true democratic voting right in Islamic Republic of Pakistan ever? The answer to this question is very Big No; but why down trodden communities in Pakistan is forced to conclude it? We would like to discuss in this article;
First, let’s see what make Indian elections more democratic than Pakistan? One thing is similar in Indian and Pakistani elections: Voters cast their votes in elections of both neighboring countries but in India, the allegations of rigging are never made by any political group after any election while in Pakistan every political party marks elections as rigged and not transparent. The election results of Pakistan are announced same night after polling while Indian results are made public after one month; still Indian elections are considered transparent and credible in eyes of International community which call it elections of biggest democracy on globe. Why it is so? Is it due to any religion issue?
When we look upon history of Islamic states in democracy prospectus, we do not find true democratic system in practice by Muslim world. There are kingdoms in Islamic states which rule with iron hands depriving of rights of women and religious minorities. If very few Islamic states claim of democracy and hold elections to decide helm of power, they act like dictators and crush everyone to prolong their rule.
I am of view that democracy is not a fruit for Muslims and they cannot be democratic rulers; See, Turkey, what elected Prime Minister did; first he crushed his own armed forces and then bulldozed voice of opposition and give U-turn to democratic Turkey of Atta Turk to centuries old Islamic Sharia to establish his new ottoman empire. Eye on Malaysia, Elections are being held in this Islamic country but still uproar is heard on use of word “Allaha” by minorities; Malaysia moves back on Sharia law and burns down worship places of other religions; Same situation is in Indonesia where voting is held to claim a democratic state but blasphemy law is used to rise violence against other religious communities.
Muslims migrated to UK and other Western countries as economic immigrants but after settling they are demanding Sharia law for them neglecting democratic means to follow will of majority; We must remember that in Philippines where they were in minority, they picked up arms and same can be viewed in Central African Republic CAR where Muslims are less than 3% but took over power of state with arms, killing thousands of Christians.
I fear that Christians and other religious minorities will never be able to enjoy their voting right in Islamic Republic of Pakistan as Muslims of this Islamic state will also never want democracy in Pakistan like other Islamic states. Why I say so? But before we discuss facts about Islamic Republic of Pakistan, let us go back on elections in India.
There are 543 seats in Lok Sabha (National Assembly of India) which are distributed as: 412 are general seats, 84 seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 47 seats for the Scheduled Tribes: It is important to note that total seats of 543 of Indian Lok Sabha are filled by vote; It is true democracy that reserved seats for down trodden communities which are allocated to Scheduled Casts/Scheduled Tribes are also filled with one man one vote; The voters in these 131 constituencies weather they are Muslim, Christians, Hindus and Schedule caste Hindus/non-believers cast their votes to elect representative of SC/ST community who are awarded tickets by major political parties. On these 131 seats which are reserved for SC/ST, no one else is given ticket nor can he contest but vote all who are in these limitations.
On other hand, National Assembly of Pakistan have total seats of 342; but one man one vote election is held on 272 seats while 60 seats reserved for women and 10 seats reserved for religious minorities are handpicked by Muslim political parties; Is it a democracy? What Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan says? Under Article of 226 of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, every seat of National Assembly of Pakistan shall be filled by secret ballot but it is secret ballot of Muslims that they bulldoze their own constitution and select with their own choice on 70 reserved seats for National Assembly of Pakistan instead of marking constituencies for reserved seats and to open them for election in which Muslims men, Muslim women and religious minorities may vote to elect Muslim women and candidates of religious minorities.
It is a dream to expect from Muslim that they will provide due constitutional rights to Pakistani Muslim women, Christians, Hindus, Ahmadiyyia, Sikhs and others on these 70 reserved seats like 131 reserved seats like India. A miracle can happen and Muslim women and religious minorities reserved seats can be elected by one man vote in Islamic Republic of Pakistan as Pakistani Muslim says that his/her vote shall be polluted if casted to non-Muslims; But miracle never happen in Islamic world where you can behead thousands innocent people in name of Islam and still claim to be a true Muslim. May “Allaha” bless Hindus (Whom Muslim call Infidels) who can give poor and downtrodden people equal rights and to Christians (Whom Muslim also call infidel) who can give Sharia law to Muslim minorities and award high portfolio in governments.