Renowned Christian leader Julius Salik while speaking in a talk show at a private news channel said that Christians have the courage to stand up for their rights. “I have been sent to jail seven times,” he said while responding to the host Javed Chaudhry.
Julius Salik who is a former Federal Minister, Organizer Awami Masiha Party was invited as a representative of Pakistani Christians in celebrated journalist Javed Chaudhry’s show Kal Tak. At the same time MNA Ramesh Kumar, Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan Hindu Council and Sardar Charan jeet Singh Founder Pakistan Council of World Religions.
In the beginning of the show, Javed Chaudhry quoted Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech on August 11, 1947 in which he stated: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”
Host Javed Chaudhry asked Julius Salik about the stats of Christian population in the country, to which he responded by saying that seven and a half lac Christians were registered as voters nonetheless the actual number of Christians is much higher he said. He said that four seats were reserved for Christian community. Responding to another question, Julius Salik said that Christians ostensibly demand their rights, they stage protests and urge for their constitutional rights. He said that we demand for our rights because we deem Pakistan our own homeland.
Julius Salik further said that despite there is an inevitable need for reforms in various laws, however, he whined that the ruling regarding implementation of election procedure for the religious minorities has not been put in effect by the Parliament. He further said that spirit of nationalism is lacking in our nation. We are still being discriminated on the basis of race, color and religion, he continued.
Julius Salik while remarking about the forced conversions and marriages he said this heinous crime is punishable by seven years of imprisonment. He said that our political outlook needs to be transformed. Our leaders must take religious minorities in confidence- religious minorities in Pakistan are being overlooked by the political leaders.
Julius Salik said that in line with 18th amendment no non-Muslim can hold the office of Prime Minister, which is a blatant injustice towards the religious minorities. He said that if our issues continue to be overlooked, we will take it to the roads and run a nationwide campaign.