LAHORE: Hailing the statement of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari wherein he favoured to see a Christian prime minister in Pakistan, the Christian community have come up with an appeal for constitutional amendments to let that happen for making the country ‘intolerant and extremism-free state’.
Constitutionally, no non-Muslim could hold the office of the president and the prime minister of Pakistan. There was a restriction for any non-Muslim to hold the office of president but the 18th constitutional amendment also upholds the same condition.
Any non-Muslim willing to content the office of prime minister in Pakistan cannot do so till amendments are made into the constitution in adherence to the real vision of founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah which he uttered in his speech on August 11, 1947.
It is also interesting that it was the PPP government, from 2008 to 2013, that passed the 18th amendment in with the consent of other parties and restricted non-Muslim to become PM of the country
It is a historical fact that the demand of restriction on any non-Muslim to become PM was mooted by some other parties including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal Group (JUI-F) and incumbent Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz while the PPP who wanted to pass the 18th Amendment in any case from the parliament.
Such a condition also became the part of the 18th amendment of the constitution. In view of the historical ideologies of the parties, it can be established that the PML-N, who favoured sucha restriction, would not give any favour to this suggestion by Bilawal.
This vision of Bilawal Bhutto has given a sign of a new twist in politics and it would also support to make Pakistan as a ‘Taliban-free state’ by promoting tolerance and bringing to a halt discrimination against different communities at every level in the country.
Commenting and applauding the vision of Bilawal Bhutto, All Pakistan Minorities Alliance Founder (APMA-F) chairman Pervez Rafique, PPP Minority Wings Punjab and Lahore leaders Napoleon Qayyum, John Victor, Marriam Aslam, Dr Shamaun Bhatti, Tariq Javed, Marry Sulaman, Nasreen Maria and others urged the government and political parties to make efforts to remove such restriction on non-Muslim to become the PM.
Talking to Daily Times, the political minority leaders said that the wish of Bilawal would prove a mile-stone to make Pakistan as Taliban-free state and to end intolerance and extremism and discriminatory attitude toward minorities. They opined that such a vision would make the image of Pakistan better across the world, if implemented through proper legislation.
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