Pakistan; plurality of voters

Dr. Mike Ghouse   May 30, 2018   Comments Off on Pakistan; plurality of voters

Glad to see the plurality of religions in Pakistan. A while back we were planning on holding an interfaith conference in Karachi, I could not go there because of my health, but the program was carried forward by Syed Yaqoob Ali Shah and continues today. ( http://centerforpluralism.com/conferences/ )

At that time we were scrambling to find Buddhist, Jain and Jewish Pakistanis to participate, we found Jewish, but could not find Buddhist and Jain participants.  Now, everyone but Jains has a presence, and there must be some statistics for tribal people who follow no particular religion but are culturally close to Hindu and Muslim traditions.

The biggest surprise in the report is the Jewish population – 809 Jewish Voters. I knew one Jewish entrepreneur from Fort Worth, Texas who had opened a back-office operation in Karachi and had donated to Pakistan Chair at UT Arlington in Texas. The Bahais number is a surprise too.

The majoritarian arrogance is one of the driving reasons for harassing the minorities, particularly the largest minority. They are attacked, lynched, killed and denied opportunities in every country. While bad things are happening, there are a lot of good stories too. Muslims formed a human wall around a Hindu temple for Hindus to celebrate Diwali in Karachi without an incident, the same kind of human line was built around Churches in Lahore on Easter Mass.

What is wrong with Pakistan is not the arrogance of crazy people, they are in every country, but the evilness built into their constitution.

The apostasy and blasphemy laws have no basis in Islam. They are tools of harassment designed by dictators and monarchs in the past. They need to be stripped from the books.

The killing spree of Shia Muslims has stopped, for the time being, thank God for that. However, the Ahmadi Muslims are harassed and killed openly and last week a Mosque was torn apart, what the hell was police doing?  Every Pakistani has to sign a derogatory note in their visa or passport application condemning the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslims.  This law is not acceptable in the community of civilized nations.

Has anyone demanded a change? They say evil persists not because of evil people but because good people doing nothing about it. I hope the People traveling to Pakistan will demand to scratch those ugly words.

The OIC, that is an organization of Islamic countries has not produced any consensus or even attempted to produce the consensus among Muslim majority nations in guiding them with the constitutions of the Muslim majority nations.  Every man-made law requires amendment and so does Sharia.  At least the law of the land needs to comply with the collective human rights charter.

I particularly want to thank Mr. Radwan Masmoudi of Washington, D.C., who was instrumental in putting together the democratic constitution of Tunisia. Are there Pakistanis in Washington who can at least make an attempt to bring Pakistan’s constitution on par with the human rights charter it signed?

Mike Ghouse
Pluralism Studies in religion, politics, societies, culture and workplaces.
Center for Pluralism.
Washington, DC

Courtesy of Dawn News Paper

Number of non-Muslim voters in Pakistan shows rise of over 30pc

ISLAMABAD: The number of voters belonging to religious minoritiesin the country has climbed to 3.63 million from 2.77m registered in electoral rolls for the 2013 general elections — registering an increase of 0.860m or 30 per cent in five years.

According to the latest official document available with Dawn, Hindu voters continue to maintain their majority among the minorities, but they no more constitute over half of total non-Muslim voters as was the case in 2013.

Read: Problems with the electoral representation of non-Muslims

The number of Hindu voters before 2013 polls was 1.40m while total number of voters of minority communities was 2.77m — the former being higher than the collective number of all other minorities. The number of Hindu voters now stands at 1.77m. They are mostly concentrated in Sindh where in two districts they form over 40 per cent of total registered voters.

Document makes no mention of Jewish voters, although in 2013 there were 809 of them

Christians form the second largest group of non-Muslim voters, totalling 1.64m with over 1m settled in Punjab followed by over 200,000 in Sindh. Their number has grown at a relatively high pace as compared to Hindu voters as it was 1.23m before 2013 general polls.

The total number of Ahmadi voters is 167,505 — most of whom dwell in Punjab, followed by Sindh and Islamabad. The number in 2013 stood at 115,966.

Of the total 8,852 Sikh voters, most are settled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa followed by Sindh and Punjab. Their presence in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas is more than their combined strength in Balochistan and Islamabad. They numbered 5,934 in 2013.

The number of Parsi voters has grown from 3,650 in 2013 to 4,235. Majority of them is settled in Sindh followed by KP. The number of Buddhist voters has increased from 1,452 in 2013 to 1,884. Most of them live in Sindh and Punjab.

There are a total of 31,543 voters from the Bahai community on the electoral rolls.

The document obtained by Dawn makes no mention of Jewish voters in Pakistan, though in 2013 there were 809 Jewish voters in the country — 427 women and 382 men.

While the district-wise data of non-Muslim voters is yet to be prepared, according to official statistics related to 2013 elections, Umerkot and Tharparkar districts in Sindh had as high percentage as 49pc and 46pc of total voters, respectively. In Umerkot, there were a total of 386,924 voters of whom 189,501 belonged to religious minorities. In Tharparkar, out of a total of 473,189 voters, 219,342 were non-Muslim.

In Mirpurkhas, the total number of voters was 590,035 and among them 192,357 (33pc) were non-Muslim. In Tando Allahyar, 74,954 non-Muslims constituted 26pc of total 288,460 voters.

In Tando Mohammad Khan, 39,847 non-Muslims accounted for 17pc of total 231,522 voters. In Matiari, 81,589 non-Muslims constituted 13pc of total 302,265 voters. In Karachi’s South district, total number of voters was 1,070,321 and among them 81,589 (8pc) were non-Muslim. In Ghotki and Hyderabad, 41,031 and 62,243 non-Muslims accounted for 7pc of total 571,636 and 928,236 voters, respectively.

In Chiniot and Lahore districts of Punjab, 35,335 and 247,827 non-Muslims constituted 6pc of total 604,991 and 4,424,314 voters, respectively.

In Jamshoro and Kashmore districts of Sindh, 18,912 and 17,495 non-Muslims were 5pc of total 373,097 and 355,904 voters, respectively.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2018

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