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Difference in Being Islamic State and Republic, Says Christian Leader Who Boycotted Pakistan Elections

Calling out the Army for its activities and the terrible situation that minorities are in Pakistan, Gill said that the current electoral system was a conspiracy of Muslim majority against the non-Muslim citizens.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:July 24, 2018, 3:23 PM IST
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Difference in Being Islamic State and Republic, Says Christian Leader Who Boycotted Pakistan Elections
As Pakistan gears up for the July 25 general elections, political parties have redoubled efforts to secure votes from across the country. (Image: AP)
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New Delhi: Last month, the Christian Democratic Party announced the boycott of elections in Pakistan. Even now, founder Ben Hurr Gill states that the election will undoubtedly be the most rigged in the history of Pakistan owing to the influence of the establishment (army).

Calling out the Army for its activities and the terrible situation that minorities are in Pakistan, Gill said that the current electoral system was a conspiracy of Muslim majority against the non-Muslim citizens.

“This will only create non-Muslim slaves and not genuine non-Muslim legislatures and real leadership,” Gill told News18.

“It’s Islamic Pakistan not a republic. My country’s name is actually controversial. It is two different things to be a republic and to an Islamic state. Military has the influence at every level by every way. Civilian supremacy isn't accepted by the uniform. No one can quench the influence of military because the Supreme Court always invites Army to provide opportunity under the doctrine of state that is a necessity to run the state affairs. People, political parties and politicians also welcome military intervention to run the state business. So, it doesn't matter what is army's plan or policy,” Gill said.

The prime challenge faced by the Pakistani Christian is ineffective, meaningless and discriminatory electoral system on 33 reserved seats for non-Muslims in the federal and provincial level, he said. For Gill, the problems started with former ruler Pervez Musharaff’s Legal Framework Order LFO 2002 which led to drastic changes in the Constitution, including the inclusion of reserved seats.

“Further, the so-called democratic chief minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif carried on the dictator’s conspiracy and issued the local bodies ordinance to once again stop us from electing non-Muslims,” he further said. He also called out the state’s institutes for creating hurdles in raising issues of non-Muslims, including discriminatory policies, contradictory articles, blasphemy law and further hate material in syllabus.

Because of his strong stand against the establishment, Gill has faced several threats, which he says he’s not afraid to face “for the future generations and for the survival or minorities in Pakistan.”

That said, he believes that majority of the problems faced by the Christian community are because of lack of state policies. “The Army is not a parliamentary force and has no constitutional role to amend the laws. We, Pakistani Christians, are actually victims of state policies and state policies are always made by political leadership. So, I would not say the Army has plans against us. Pakistani Christians are not directly under attack by army. There are many foreign and domestic proxies on call to action,” he said.

Gill is also certain that situation for non-Muslims will only get from bad to worse, unless the communities get back their constitutional rights. “This is the only way for the survival of Pakistani Christians and other religious minorities in Islamic Pakistan. This is the only way we can present a counter-narrative and counter policies against the PMLN, PPP, PTI and any other Islamic political party's narrative and mindset,” he said.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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