PESHAWAR: Members of the Christian community associated with different political parties on Tuesday staged protest demonstrations separately in front of the Peshawar Press Club here against the issuance of the party tickets on the seats reserved for religious minorities.
The protesters said that their parties – the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Awami National Party (ANP) – ignored real workers from the Christians while issuing tickets on the special seats. Christians associated with the different parties supported and participated in the protests of the different parties and demanded due representation in the parliament on the reserved seats.
BBesidesChristians, members from Hindu, Sikh and other religious minorities also participated in the protest. They chanted slogans in favour of their demands and urged leaders of the PPP, PTI and ANP to give due share to the Christian community in the nomination of the candidates against the seats reserved for the minorities in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
Former provincial lawmaker Azeem Ghauri, Seelas Gill, Yasar Bhatti, Riaas Maseeh, Tanveer Sherazi and Haroon Sarabdeyal were leading the protest demonstrations. Almost all the political parties awarded tickets to its members from Sikh, Hindu and other communities. However, the Christians have been ignored by the three parties.
This time, the PTI nominated a member from Chitral’s Kalasha community on the seats reserved in the provincial assembly. Wazir Zada is considered an active leader of the community from Chitral. The political awareness is on the rise amongst people from the Kalasha community, whereas a number of young people are getting higher education in reputed universities both in and outside of the country.
The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) of Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao has nominated a member of the Ahmadiyya community against the reserved seat. Qaseem ud Din Khalid was earlier associated with the Pakistan People’s Party. He is considered among the close aides of the party supremo – Aftab Sherpao.
Sikh community member Radish Singh Toni is contesting on a general seat for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly from Peshawar. In the last provincial assembly, one out of the three reserved seats remained un-occupied for around two years due to the assassination of Sardar Soran Singh who was shot dead in his native village Pacha Keley in District Buner in April 2016.
Second, on the list of PTI, Buldev Kumar was charged for planning assassination of Soran Singh and he was immediately arrested and didn’t allowed administering the oath. On the second last day of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, he had administered the oath and accredited him as MPA for only 48 hours (two days).