Religious Minorities and Pakistan Politics. By Nasir Latif


The whole world utilizes a lot of finances and resources every year to curtail the population through different Family Planning Programs but still waiting for desired results. In Pakistan the only masses who accomplished these achievements are religious minorities. This reality came to the surface when I had a look into the history of census in Pakistan and I came to know that religious minorities of Pakistan are still standing on the figures of 21 years back. Certainly there is an increase shown in the census which tells us that in 1981 total numbers are 2527609 of religious minorities, and in 1998 these numbers are 3970568. According to a latest survey in 2006 the total population of the country is more than 160000000, at the same time the population of religious minorities is crossing the number of 5000000.

Surveying the political history of Pakistan I was shocked to know that in 1985 number of the General seats of the National Assembly was 217 and, a quota of 10 exceptional seats for minorities has been allocated with an increase of 04 seats of the previous Assembly of Pakistan. In the present day the total seats of the National Assembly are 342 instead of 217 with a 70 % increase, despite the fact that there is no increase in exceptional seats for minorities. It shows that the population of minorities is still standing on the figures where they were 21 years ago.

President of Pakistan invited a number of preferred personalities of the Christian community and various diplomats to a dinner party on the last Christmas, the biggest festival of Christians. Addressing to the gathering Minister of State Prof. Mushtaq Victor was very happy to tell the nation that present government is very much interested in the social welfare and religious independence of the minorities in Pakistan. But he forgot the political & social rights of minorities and was not poles apart to his preceding counterparts. No doubt minorities are enjoying here religious autonomy, but could any one play a key role in development of the country, and have the benefit of social justice without in the least political freedom, is the underlined question. There is only one Hindu member out of 100 in Senate of Pakistan who is representing PPP (P) instead of minorities. For better legislation for the minorities there should be a comprehensive number of legislators in National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan, lacking which the dream of Quaid-e-Azam for a Social Welfare State could never come true and minorities will not be able to become a part of the mainstream socio-political activities of Pakistan.

Only by fixing a particular number of exceptional seats for minorities in the parliament, the minorities of Pakistan can play an effective and constructive role in the mainstream politics of the country. The Past Government authorities and elected minority members of the Parliament failed chronically to represent minorities in the power corridors according to their real needs of the time. Our political leaders representing majority and minority both claiming for the independence and equal rights of the minorities time to time are urged to initiate to strive for actual representation based on the present population number of the minorities and accomplish the religious, political and social justice as well as independence in the country.

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