An open letter to UN Secretary General.


Mr. Kufi Annan, Secretary General, United Nations Office, New York. Joint electorate, Constitutional package and amendments for 2002 elections in Pakistan for minorities being violation of UN Human Rights Declaration, Article 9-29 of Fundamenta

His Excellency, I the undersigned, Nazir S Bhatti, Chief of Pakistan Christian congress, on behalf of 15 million Christians of Pakistan, wish to draw your kind attention on the implementation of recent electoral amendments, imposition of joint election system, reduction in reserved seats in national assembly of Pakistan being not proportional to the population of Christians and neglecting the obligations of security and safety of the Christian citizen of Pakistan. The attacks on Christian worshipers in the churches at Bahawalpur, Islamabad, Murree and Taxila by the militant extremist Muslim groups in Pakistan have created feelings of security and safety of life by the hands of militant when they have been facing the threats by the laws after the implementation of Islamic laws on the minorities of Pakistan and their arrests under blasphemy laws 295 C PPC, subject to capital punishment of death sentence by the law or by the hands of extremist groups since 1979 when by the president order no 4 of Prohibition and Hud was introduced in Pakistan. The legislation conducted in the senate of Pakistan on the Laws of Evidence and compensation, Article 203 to bar Christian attorney to present in Federal sharia Courts, blasphemy laws and other Islamic laws were endorsed without the presence of minorities when they had no representation in senate of Pakistan under the laws and having representation not proportional to population in the National Assembly of Pakistan. The discrimination in the jobs and educations against the Christian youth, the incidents of converting by force the Christian women to Islam and the rape and abduction of poor Christian women by the influential Muslim majority community members of is worst part of genocide of Christians in Pakistan. We wish to submit that founder of Pakistan Quaid e Azam, Mohd Ali Jinnah declared in his fourteen point doctrine, the separate election system for minorities in Pakistan, keeping in view his meetings and discussion with the minorities leaders during the Pakistan movement. The minorities enjoyed the separate election system from 1947 to 1971 by electing their own representatives for the democratic institutions in Pakistan to raise their voice in democratic institutions. The government entered into an internationally recognized pact with Indian government in 1950 known as Liaquat Nehru Pact to further safe guard the minority's rights in the neighboring states. The facts to enter in this pact were that problem of religious minorities aggravated a lot during late 1949 and early 1950. At this critical moment of the history of South Asia, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan issued a statement and emphasized on the solution of the problem of minorities in the two countries. He also proposed a meeting with his Indian counter part to determine how to end the communal riots. The two Prime Ministers met in Delhi on April 2, 1950 and discussed the matter in detail for six long days. On April 8, the two leaders signed an agreement, which was later given the name; Liaquat-Nehru Pact. This pact provided a bill of rights for the minorities of India and Pakistan. According to the agreement, the government of India and Pakistan solemnly agree that each shall ensure, to the minorities throughout its territories, complete equality of citizenship, irrespective of religion; a full sense of security in respect of life, culture, property and personal honor. It also guaranteed the fundamental human rights to the minorities, such as freedom of movement, speech, occupation and worship. The pact also provided for the minorities to Participate in the public life of the country, to hold political or other office and to serve in their countries civil and armed forces. Liaquat Nehru Pact provided for the mechanism to deal with the oppressive elements with iron hand. Both the governments decided to set up minority commission in their country with the aim to observe and report on the implementation of the pact. Sir, The government of India constituted the minorities commission according to the referred pact and legislated according to presentations of the minorities leaders to their personal laws and election systems for representations but the government of Pakistan failed to constitute such effective minorities commission headed by the acting supreme court justice for recommendations on the presentations of the Christian leaders in Pakistan. Its very surprising that Pakistan Being a member of the United Nation and one of signatory member state of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights announced in UN Charter have always neglected the respects of the fundamental right of the creed or language, according to Constitution of Pakistan stated in the Articles 9-29 In the Islamic republic constitution of 1973. In the elections of 1971, very first time after independence of Pakistan in 1947, the experiment of joint election system was endorsed in the legal framework. In the legislation of joint electorate system in the 1973 constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, no Christian presence was in the house or the Muslim members of parliament created parliament and 6 reserved seats for the Christian minority in national assembly of Pakistan on selection instead of election Its on record that Christians have not demanded joint election system for them on any forum and nor were any recommendations of minority commission according to Liaquat Nehru Pact, as such commission never existed in Pakistan nor constituted by the government of Pakistan since 1950 and this joint election system was imposed by the Muslim majority legislators of Pakistan on the minorities of Pakistan. To discuss the facts of democratic impacts of joint election system its submitted for information and record of your honor that Christian voters have to vote in their respective constituencies for the Muslim candidates and the Muslim members of parliament votes to select the Christians members in parliament on these reserved seats which can never be democratic elections of the Christian representations nor it contains the will of Christian voters. On other hand the joint election system for the Kashmir refuges is in operation where they vote in the territory of Pakistan to elect their legislators for the legislative assembly of Azad Kashmir and also vote for the national assembly of Pakistan candidates in their respective constituencies under dual voting system which was never privileged to the Pakistani Christians to vote for their own representatives on reserved seats and vote for the Muslim candidates in their areas. Therefore the legislations of Blasphemy laws and other black laws for the Christians in Pakistan never seeked the necessary amendments and motions when the Christian representation was not their elected representation and they have no representation in senate of Pakistan ever. His Excellency, The present government of Pakistan has again introduced the joint election system for minorities but very surprising they have reduced the Christian representation from 6 seats to 4 seats when the Muslim seats in the house have been increased in these forthcoming elections of October 2002. Therefore we pray from your honor to put pressure on the government of Pakistan. a) To constitute the minority commission headed by the acting justice of supreme court of Pakistan in the light of Liaquat Nehru pact of 1950 to recommend the election system for the minorities, protection of personal laws, religious liberties and equal citizenship rights on presentations of Christian leaders to end the injustice and genocide by imposed laws toward minorities in Pakistan. b) The moral pressure may be increased on government of Pakistan to hold these elections under separate elections that minorities may vote for their representatives instead of this selection system imposed in these elections for minorities on choice of government agencies and Muslim leaders in the parliament. c) The dual voting rights may be given to Christians as privileged to Azad Kashmir Muslims living in Pakistan. d) To ensure justice, democracy and revival of human rights in Pakistan. We also demand to put pressure on government of Pakistan to repeal the blasphemy laws, laws of compensation and evidence, section 203 D of constitution and to release all the Christians behind bars waiting for their trial or sentenced to death under these laws e) The safety and security of Christians may be ensured in Pakistan after these recent attacks on churches and massacre of innocent Christian's worshipers by the militant Muslim groups. Thanking you. Yours sincerely, Nazir s Bhatti, Chief of Pakistan Christian Congress www.pakistanchristiancomgress Editor, Pakistan Christian Post New York. Dated. September 4, 2002. Copy to 1. All member states of UN 2. For press and media.

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