By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- In a recent press release, the President of the Pakistan Christian Congress claimed that his government was planning to amend its constitution, replacing the phrase, “Reserved seats for Christians, Hindus, Ahmadi, Sikh and others,” to simply "Non-Muslims," thus destroying the separate identities of millions of religious minorities living in the Islamic Republic.
President Nazir Bhatti admonished the committee members to avoid using “Non-Muslims” in the bill it's preparing to present for the next cabinet meeting of the National Assembly of Pakistan.
We urge committee members to classify the numbers of seats allocated for Christians, Hindus, Ahmadi and other religious minorities as it was in the 1973 Constitution, he said. We are Christians, not non-Muslims, and we will oppose any conspiracy to destroy that identity.
In the 1973 constitution, 10 seats were allocated for minorities: four for Christians, four for Hindus and one each for Ahmadi and other religious communities; the total seats for the National Assembly were 132, but in 1985, the number increased to 240 while the number of minority seats remained unchanged.
Bhatti said that currently Christians have 2 seats, Hindus have 8 seats while the Ahmadi have none.
Bhatti said the PCC will continue to fight for the rights of 20 million oppressed Pakistanis by guarding their identity as Christians.