Is the movement for a Separate Christian Province; a presentment of the insecurity amongst the Christian populace of Pakistan?
The proponents, however, argue that the creation of a separate Christian Province will help protect the minority- nevertheless their movement is not likely to prevail.
Mr.Younus Masih Bhatti, Pakistan’s minister of national harmony is leader of the movement. While expressing his views to The Telegraph, he said, “Keeping in view the two million Christians in the country and a sense of insecurity among them, there is a requirement for a separate province for them so that they can enjoy equal rights like the majority”
This issue, came to apex, when 14-yr old Rimsha Masih was charged of burning sacred Islamic text. However, her defenders counterclaimed that she did not carried out the act on purpose, while her family revealed that she was mentally disabled child, yet she was imprisoned.
This affair finds its grounding when,Mr. Nazir S. Bhatti, President, Pakistan Christian Congress. It was on 21st of April, 1992 at Jabees Hotel, Karachi, when the President PCC, showed up with an idea of a Separate Christian Province.
Mr. Nazir S. Bhatti, held forth in a press conference that as a consequence of the abhorrence towards Christians in Pakistan, on religious grounds, they are left with no other alternative but to put forward a demand for a separate province; in South-West of Punjab. PCC proposed formation of a separate Christian Province, by division of Punjab in 1992.
By the passage of years, Mr. Bhatti, urged Government of Pakistan, in April, 2010, to affirm, the formation of Hazara Province, before the endorsement of the 18th Amendment, in the constitution of Pakistan. Mr. Bhatti said, “We have always supported formation of Hazara Province, Siraiki province and Gilgit-Bultistan Province as part of federation of Pakistan”
Mr. Bhatti made perfectly clear that the suggestions of “Christland and Takistan” made by many international Christian leaders, have not been acceded upon by Pakistan Christian Congress, instead we demand for a Christian Province within the federation of Pakistan, not an independent Christian country- by way of dividing Pakistan.
He beseeched, Christians of Pakistan to consolidate and join their peaceful struggle for a separate Christian Province. The movement, though, did not see much progression.
“This is a very difficult time for Pakistan; there is sectarian violence, there is extremism, there is terrorism,” said Mr.Younus Masih Bhatti, according to Agence France-Presse. “The people who want to destabilize the country, they can use easy victims. And many times, easy victims are Christians like in this case.”
According to most estimations, Christians make less than 5% of the total population of Pakistan; being the largest minority in the country. These claims are yet, contradicted by some of the Christian leaders; as they claim the Christian masses to be 13% of total population of Pakistan. A greater number of Christians reside in Punjab, they are also widely scattered across the country.
A new Parliamentary commission, lead into meetings to come to a consensus on the creation of a new province in Punjab. Plea for a separate Christian Province was also addressed to the committee.
Concisely, the fulfillment of this demand does not seem to be actualized, at this point of time. For the moment, there lies a great need to develop religious tolerance among Pakistanis.