Elections 2002 and Pakistani Christians. By Asif Mall. UK
14 Nov 2002
On 10th of October 2002, Pakistan had its first elections in last three years, and yet once again the Christian community was denied their due representation in the Legislative and Provincial Assemblies of Pakistan. Pakistan's national Assembly seats
When we study the history of the Christian representation is the National (Legislative) Assembly of Pakistan; we find out that Christians were given 4 seats in the Pakistan Legislative Assembly in 1947, when the house was of 48 seats. This means that Christians had 8.3% representation in the National Assembly of Pakistan. Under the 1973 constitution, when the total seats of National Assembly moved to 235, then the Christian representation should have also been moved to 20 seat to continue with the 8.3% trend set in 1947; but unfortunately the Christian representation was reduced to 6 seats instead, scraping 54% of Christian representation in the National Assembly. In 1985 national general elections the National Assembly seats were decided to be 207, and according to same 8.3% trend, the Christians should have been given 17 seats; but unfortunately the Christian representation was again reduced to 4 seats, scraping 77% of Christians representation in the Legislative assembly. During the recent elections of 2002, when seats of the house moved unto 270, the Christians seats in terms of 8.3% should have been 23; but deplorably Christian seats are again reduced only to 4 seats, which is shameful. So the Pakistani Christians have always been deprived of their due representation in the Legislative and provincial seats.
Even if we forget the 8.3% representation given to Christians during the 1947 Legislative Assembly, even then we find that Christians are always exploited by adopting double standards for their representation. For example, when the overall seats of the National assembly were increased by 40% (from 207 to 270), then why Christian seats were not increased 40%, making them 6 instead of 4 existing seats. But if the Government's logic is that the reserved seats can't be increased the way overall seats are increased, then their seats should have been increased 600%, the way women reserved seats were increased. In this way Christians deserve 24 seats in the national assembly, instead of four seats. Moreover there is no Christian representation in Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan anymore after the joint electorate are introduced. In Sindh, PPP has selected Hindus; whereas in NWFP, MMA has chosen a Sikh to be their representative. There is already no Christian or minority representation in the Senate of Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan has systematically killed the Christian representation in the Legislative and Provincial assemblies, deplorably and shamelessly making them Christian free institutions like the Senate. Where shall Pakistani Christians go for raising voice for their basic and legitimate constitutional rights???