Constitutional provision changing process of filling minority seats challenged in Pakistan court

PESHAWAR: Two members of the Christian community in Pakistan have challenged in the Peshawar High Court a Constitutional provision that changed the process of filling minority seats in assemblies. Through the petition, Rameez Alam and Anil Masseh said that after 2002 Constitutional amendments in Articles 51 and 106, the members of minority communities on the seats reserved for non-Muslims were elected based on a proportional representation system instead of being directly elected by the minorities.
They said that earlier religious minorities had the power to vote elect their representative and offer themselves for elections.
However, due to the impugned amendments, it was changed to an undemocratic system wherein neither the minorities could offer themselves to contest elections, nor vote for their representatives hence the elected people were not true representatives of the community.
“The preamble of the Constitution provides for safeguarding of legitimate interests of minorities and this amendment is violative of the preamble of Constitution and hence liable to be struck down to this extent,” said the petition.
Numan Mohib Kakakhel, the advocate who filed the writ petition on behalf of the petitioners, said that the petition in the PHC has sought the declaration as null and void the amendments made in articles 51 and 106 and restore the election procedure enforced in the country before 2002.
The federal govt, Ministry of Law and Justice and others have been made respondents in the case.
“This is an undemocratic, and unlawful process of electing minority members for the national and provincial assemblies and as such the amendments are against basic human rights,” the petition maintained. Source

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