A Start in Lahore

Pakistan’s election was the first democratic transfer of power in the country’s history – and also a start in giving voice to Pakistan’s minorities, writes Hassan Siddiq in an opinion essay for Outlook India. Such minorities include bonded laborers as well as Hindus, Sikhs and Christians. Of course, protecting minority rights is work that is never finished. Ramesh Singh Arora is a social worker in Lahore and “joins the Punjab assembly as a nominee of Nawaz Sharif's PML(N) on one of the eight reserved seats set aside for non-Muslims,” Siddiq writes. “A need for seats reserved for minorities is in itself a manifestation of failure in comprehensive nation-building.” No non-Muslim has been elected from a general assembly seat in Pakistan, he explains. Reticence from the major parties suggests that such candidates are unelectable – reinforcing bias and problematic policies like blasphemy laws. Siddiq concludes, “The success of democracy offers hope and allows multiple voices to be heard.” – YaleGlobal

A Start in Lahore

At last, minorities get a place in Pakistan’s official narrative and polity, with a Sikh joining the Punjab assembly as a nominee of Sharif’s
Hassan Siddiq
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

 Click here for the article in Outlook India. 

Hassan Siddiq studied at Yale College and set up Hillhouse Tech.

© Outlook Publishing (India) Private Limited