I am struggling for equal rights of my Pakistani Christian nation; Khalid Gill, An Exclusive Interview with Jawad Mazhar, Special Correspondent of PCP
It was the decade of 60s when the early persecution was rolling its sleeves up to swallow the many precious souls devoted for Christ. A year was started and spring was just on when God sent an angle flower to Mr.Sidique Gill’s home on 1st April 1960 Lahore Pakistan.
No body knows that the 4th grade student serving as an alter boy at his primary church will organize a leading alliance to fight for the rights of minorities’ hope every body knows. He is The Gill
Be sure Khalid Gill a well known Christian leader on grass root level through out Pakistan and abroad for its influencing personality and brave leadership. Mr. Khalid Gill was born in a Christian family and grown up in a Christ centered environment.
Khalid Gill is the Chief organizer of all Pakistan minorities alliance (APMA) and Christian Liberation Front Pakistan.(CLFP).
In the election of 2008 he was nominated candidate for the National assembly as well as the provincial assembly of the Punjab for the reserved seats for the religious minorities by the Mohterma Benazir Bhutto.(Shaheed-e-Jamhooriat)
Mr. Gill has done tremendous work for all the religious minorities, especially for the Christian community. In honor of those services he has been elected as Vice-President of Tree of life Ministries www.treeoflifeintl.org reaching to the un reached with the word. In addition to that he is serving as an administrator of the Church of the Nations of Pakistan. The ministry is run from its headquarter in Brazil. www.ministeriovidaemcristo.org
Mr.Gil has a long history of serving the community and he is fiery speaker, columnist loving father and faithful friend. He has boldly opposed the draconian Blasphemy Laws. He has deep roots in all religious communities. He is doing this work despite great deal of hostile environment in terms of religious freedom in the country.
Q: When you joined politics and what were motives behind it?
A: Since my child hood I was very much spirited and I have been serving as an alter boy in my earlier childhood. When got younger I participated in a lot of youth programs and later on founded the Christian Youth Fellowship Pakistan (CYFP 1972 ) which is alive up to day. I have experienced discrimination at earlier youth hoods so I envisioned to fight for the equal rights of my Nation especially all; forms of persecution and discrimination. We are suffering persecution every where at every level.
Q: Were you part of Christian Liberation Front? Why you joined CLF?
A: Yes Christian Liberation Front is my land where I dreamed to fight for our rights. I have told above that I have experienced persecution my self so I joined Christian Liberation Front Pakistan.
Q: Was Bishop John Joseph focal point of your attraction or Shahbaz Bhatti to start your political career from CLF?
A: I salute the efforts of Shaheed-e-Azam Bishop John Joseph and obviously when I joined Christian Liberation Front of Pakistan Shahbaz Bahtti was our leader when it born with its devotional members on 1st May 1989 at Pinto Ground WarisPura Faisal Abad.
But the focal point is always to FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT.
Q: Why CLF was dissolved and formed All Pakistan Minorities Alliance APMA?
A: Christian Liberation Front is not dissolved, even every organization of this Alliance has their own individuality so Christian Liberation Front Pakistan is Founder and leading organization of alliance. And yes Alliance was formed on 14th July 2002 to fight for the rights of all the religious minorities.
Q: Are you satisfied with role of APMA for Christian in Pakistan?
A: I know my nation is disappointed because of the tough time we are passing through. But be sure some recommendations are under consideration. Nothing to say before time!
I would like to encourage all my brother and sisters who are passing through the crucial time. At the time of this interview even on our call a nationwide protest went through the Pakistan I am here with and for my people and praying for them not to be worried but stand firm to defend their faith because we are committed to our martyrdom and zealous winning the crown of life.
Time will be the witness of our tireless efforts and struggles to achieve our Goal Republican Pakistan.(Awami Jamhooria Pakistan)as per the Vision of Quaid-e-Azam Founder of our beloved country.
Q: Why prominent Hindu leaders not joined APMA?
A: This is not the question why prominent did not join, APMA did not snatch the liberty of choice, every one is free to choice his/her own political ground or base. You can see even some of prominent Christians are not the part of All Pakistan Minorities alliance. However I personally visited to organize APMA all over the Pakistan with the open heart, open message and open struggle to the all the minorities with the Slogan: Unity and Solidarity among Minority “Can I ask why you did not join yourself, you are prominent too. Is it?
Q: Do you think APMA is an active political group when APMA leaders are in parliament on PPP tickets?
A: Yes you can see All Pakistan Minorities Alliance got some success together,5% quota and Minority Protection Bill has been tabled by Federal Minister of Minorities affairs.
On the assurance of Mohterma Benazir Bhutto for the repelment of blasphemy laws, discriminatory laws and the acceptance of our Charter of Demands(Highly Announced by Shahbaz Bhatti Quaid-e-Tahreek on 11th August 2007 at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore recalling the Speech of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah about the liberty of minorities on 11th August 1947 ) we accepted the tickets for PPPP. Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian. Off course APMA has an active roll; we are trying not to be dummy.
Q: Do you think PPP is valid political forum for Christians in Pakistan?
A: Our moments is for our rights and we found PPPP most liberal comparatively so it was the demand of the time to carry on our struggles while being the election partner of PPPP. We shall press on our fight and still on it and we shall appreciate it if PPPP become the cause of peace and prove for Minorities a Ray of Hope as in the past when Mohterama Shaheed was alive we envisioned. However we are bitterly set behind in all aspects in the approval of 18th amendment.
Q: Have PPP changed its policies towards Christians because it same political forces which nationalized missionary institutions?
A: We are sorry to say we are being pushed back in all aspects and nothing is fulfilled yet except the,5 % job quota, declaration of 11 August as National Minority Day, considering the religious festivals as optional holidays, Word Christian is legalized replacing the Word “Essai”.
But all these things are in the files fully implementation is not seen any where yet.
Mohterma promised to de-nationalize as per the demands of our charter and yes off course She was Ray of Hope for Minorities. We ever missed!
Q: Is there any Christian political force in parliament of Pakistan when selection is procedure on reserved seats?
A: No there is not !
Alliance is still on it to get the seats on its proportional rate which is not figured out yet. While in on 26th February 1996 she decided for casting double votes and filling the additional seats by additional votes. Remember additional votes (Double Votes) is the content of our Charter of Demand. .
Q: Is 5% quota and senate representation for minorities proportional to our population?
A: No it is not and proportional is controversial!
Remember it was our demand to figure out the actual number of population before reserving seats for minorities. That content is still pending so we are not agreed with weather exact percentage is figured.
It does not make sense that we are idols who are not growing even, we are shown same (in 2010) as in 1985.
Due to the Article 51 (E) of constitution 1973 of Pakistan we are bound to beg the seats from the general Election contesting political parties of Pakistan.
According to the mathematical statement of President of Pakistan depicts that the population of the country was 7 Crore in 1988 which is grown up to 20 Crore in 2010. 65% is the youth only.
This statement is the part of speech of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari said on the occasion of 57th Birth anniversary of Shaheed-e-Jamhooriat in Larkana on 20th June 2010.
Question does arise ! are we idols or stones who are motionless and not moving to grow. I would like to ask to our rolling stones to be the corner stones. Actual population of the minorities should be declared accordingly.
Q: Will APMA nominate you for senate seat from Punjab?
A: Just for your information if you are expecting seat from Punjab. It is not as easy as you are thinking. The additional seats which are thrown to catch are even going to be fulfilled in next election of 2013.So I think your question is before time.
Kon Jeeta hie teri zulaf ke sir honey tuk
Q: You are a leading advocate in Pakistan. Do,t you think APMA recommended low profile Christians for parliament and left highly qualified members on sideline?
A: APMA believes on Leadership and we don’t think there is low profile, every one is precious to APMA but the thing which I would like to say is this that “All who are seating should remember for what they are called and they have time to prove themselves selves real leaders and who is just with his own tongue other wise nation will never forgive them. but forget them forever!
Q: Do you think Christian Lawyers Foundation CLF is revival of Christian Liberation Front CLF?
A: Christian Lawyers Foundation Pakistan (CLFPakistan) www.clfpakistan.com will never replace Christian Liberation Front. Christian lawyers Foundation just formed to advocate the advocates, after the incident of Shzaia Murder Case the young Christian advocates were threatened. But Leadership cant sleep, the leader is one who knows the way, shows the way and Goes the way.I always need to awake for my nations. As a humble but devoted servant of nation I founded Christian Lawyers Foundation with its few devotional Members while it is gaining highly civilian assistance because of its tireless efforts for the victimization. I always encouraged my Christian Lawyers (friends) who honored me to chair the Foundation.
Here I would like to add a poem for my fellows.
Kill me and call it a Mistake,
Impriosn me and call it Security Measures,
Shelling and Firing on my Masses and call it law and order control,
Release my murderer and call it Misunderstanding.
Nationalize my institute and call it Education for Poor,
Throw out my Leaders role in Pakistan Movement from syllabus and call it ideology of Pakistan,
But Listen ! Still I am Christian
I will defend my honor and Religion
I will remain Christian Forever,
Q: What message you would like to give to Pakistani Christian nation?
A: From the Martyrdom of my elder Bishop John Jospeh Shaeed-Azam to the recent martyrdom of Rev.Rashid and sajid Emmanuel I salute all my martyrs and ask the nation not to go their blood in vein. Keep firm on your faith.
I would like to request all Christian Brother and sisters and all the minority members and leaders sitting abroad or in homeland. We are passing through the worst persecution ever found in the history of Pakistan. Be strong and don’t miss Alliance we formed.