Christian Democratic Party’s president Ben Hur Yousaf has lodged an application to “assist the Supreme Court of Pakistan in matters relevant to the election and representation of religious minorities in Pakistan.”
This development comes in after the 18th Amendment of the constitution was challenged in the Supreme Court and the constitutional petition regarding the amendment still continues to be contested in the court.
Yousaf has laid down legitimate demands in his application. He has demanded 17 reserves seats in the National Assembly, 6 seats in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly and 18 seats in the Punjab Assembly. 5 seats for minorities in the senate have also been demanded.
The demands have been set following a formulation, that is, 5 seats to 100 general seats. This goes hand in hand with the pattern followed in the 1973 constitution which had 10 seats for minorities for every 204 general constituencies.
It has been long since minorities have been denied recognition in the national legislature and this demand keeps the spirit of 14 points of Pakistan’s ideology in tow. Ben Hur Yousaf has set out reasonable demands in front of the Supreme Court. The Muslim majority needs to give minorities their due recognition.
Even if the flawed census that was held in recent times is considered, there are approximately 10 million non-Muslims in Pakistan and they have never felt at home in the present judicial and parliamentarian system. Due recognition is much needed.