We should be included in national mainstream and be given a right of dual vote, Christian organizations have unanimously demanded during a recent meeting. Christian leaders who had gathered to hold a prayer vigil for the martyrs of the Lahore, Paris and Brussels attacks held a meeting and came up with an undisputed demand, urging for dual voting rights for minorities and inclusion in the national mainstream.
The leaders who had gathered from across the Europe said that Pakistani Christians have always been instrumental in national progress and have stood up for national integrity whenever needed. “Christians should be granted the right of equal citizens of Pakistan,” they stated.
This meeting was attended by leaders from Pakistani Christian political parties including All Pakistan Christian League, Internal Christian Council, Minorities Alliance and many others. The leaders met in France, where the held a two-day meeting. This meeting was attended by participants from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Norway and Switzerland had assembled to attend this meeting.
They expressed deep sorrow over the escalating religion based persecution of Pakistani Christians, and said that Christians have always played a vital role for national interests. Still they are being treated as second class citizens even worse than refugees. They have to undergo various forms of persecution. If they had not faced hostility, they would not have fled to countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia in search of safe haven.
However, their plight has not ended after fleeing but situation has worsened for them in the countries they have fled. They strongly condemned the phenomenon of religion-based persecution and strongly criticized Christian leaders, claiming they have completely failed to raise voice against Christian persecution in Pakistan. They established an organization “European Pakistani Christians Action Committee,” so that they could join forces under one banner.
“Selection system is unacceptable,” they chanted slogans, while at the same time urged the government to grants Pakistani Christians the right of dual voting; vote in the general election and then electing their representatives on reserved seats. They demanded Christians should be integrated in the national mainstream outlook and should not be side-lined.