Church leadership in Punjab demands minorities be given the right to elect their representatives
The Church Leadership along with members of other Religious Minority communities in Punjab have demanded that they be allowed to elect their own representatives.
They unanimously demanded the immediate repeal of the Punjab Local Government (Amended) Ordinance 2015, as it does not allow them to elect their own representatives at the lowest tier of democratic system, during a press conference on October 5.
They announced that the minorities would start to the protest across the province if the ordinance is not repealed.
It came in reaction to the Punjab government approving the Amendments in Punjab Local Government Act on October 7, 2015 contradictory to the true spirit of democracy.
CLAAS (centre for legal aid assistance and settlement) has strong reservations that the implementation of this Act and the selection process will badly affect the minority community and defiles their political rights and growth.
But the opinions of minorities were not listened to and the issue of bias in the democratic process was not addressed. Instead the amendment further marginalises minorities that face daily discrimination because of their religion.
CLAAS believes that the selection process of minority in local election will effect political growth and maturity and consider this amendment as discriminatory and a political apartheid.
Thousands of Pakistani Christians have already protested against the amendment which deprives them of voting rights.
The elections in Punjab are due to take place on October 30, and there are concerns that selected, and not elected representatives, will do what it best for their own party and not the people.