Pak minorities demand more seats in Parliament

November 14th, 2007 - 1:54 am ICT by admin  
APMA chairman Shehbaz Bhatti said that while the number of seats for the majority community in the national and provincial assemblies was increased by 36 per cent during the last general election, the number of seats for the minority communities were not increased, “which is a clear discriminatory act”.

He said the number of seats in the Senate had also been increased but there was no reserved seat for the minority communities in the Upper House.

Bhatti demanded that five seats - one each from the four provinces and one from the federal capital - be reserved for them so that they could safeguard their rights at the law-making forums.

He urged the masses in general and the minorities in particular to vote for the liberal democratic parties in the forthcoming general election so that their position could be strengthened in Parliament.

The APMA alleged that during the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal government in the NWFP, extremist forces had been strengthened and the minority communities felt threatened.

Bhatti said a large number of missionary schools had been receiving threatening letters and many members of the minority communities had also received letters from extremist elements asking them to convert.

He demanded that all laws discriminatory to the minorities and other vulnerable sections of society be abolished as they had repeatedly been misused to settle personal scores and members of the minority communities had suffered the consequences and had been persecuted under those laws.

Bhatti also urged the political parties to give tickets to the minority community candidates for the constituencies where the number of minority community voters was sizeable so that they could also contest election on the general seats and were brought into mainstream politics. (ANI)

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