Religious minorities will now be able to “Elect” their representatives in assemblies

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Supreme Court of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan has strongly reproved of the selection procedure for reserved seats of minorities.

According to details, a Larger Bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan rejected the amendment in Article 51 of the Constitution of Pakistan, by which a selection system for religious minorities on reserved seats for non-Muslims in parliament was enforced.

The bench comprised 17 judges and majority of them while hearing the case of a petition against the 18th Amendment of Constitution of Pakistan filed by J Salik, gave decision in his favor. The petition was filed by Julius Salik through his attorney Zulifiqar Bhutta in 2010. However, all other pleas filed by other groups against 18th Amendment and 21st Amendment in the Constitution were rejected by the Apex Court.

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While reflecting on this decision, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC – Dr. Nazir S Bhatti expressed contentment. He also urged the Speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan and Speakers of four provincial assemblies to disqualify selected Minority members from the assembly floors after judgement of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

At this occasion he said, “I congratulate Mr. J Salik on filing this petition and to all social and political activists who voiced against Selection System and demanded Election on reserved seats.”

Previously, all religious minorities were not allowed to elect their representatives in National or Provincial Assemblies. The ruling political party was authorized to select representatives of religious minorities for the Assemblies. But now, under new ruling of the Supreme Court the minorities will be able to elect their representatives directly for National and Provincial Assemblies.