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Jamaat-e-Islami Sikh candidate: Jamaat-e-Islami has a Sikh candidate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa local body election

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Highlights

  • Pakistan’s radical party Jamaat-e-Islami nominated a Sikh man
  • Elections for local bodies in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are starting from December 17.
  • Due to having a safe seat, it is a compulsion to give ticket to Sikh for Jamaat-e-Islami

Islamabad
Pakistan’s radical party Jamaat-e-Islami has fielded a Sikh man as a candidate for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa civic elections. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is also the home state of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, the provincial president of Jamaat-e-Islami, announced on Saturday that a Sikh youth named Hardit Singh would be the party’s candidate for the local body elections in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa district. Since this announcement, Jamaat-e-Islami is trending on social media in Pakistan.

TTP presence in this area
According to the report of The Print, elections for local bodies in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are starting from December 17. Senator Mushtaq said that many other minority candidates were also trying hard to get his party ticket in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, but his party chose Hardit Singh. They will contest elections in one of the most radicalized regions of Pakistan. The Tehreek-e Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) also has an active presence in the province.

Sikh candidate will challenge in the bastion of fundamentalists
He said that we have a strong army of minority leaders in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They work round the clock and many of them are minority candidates contesting local body elections. He said that Sikh candidate Hardit Singh is being discussed because he will contest from Khyber district. The district is a traditional Pashtun area with a majority Afridi population. This entire area is adjacent to Afghanistan. It is also infamous for radical and terrorist activities.

Why did radical Islamist party give ticket to Sikh
Senior Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir has praised the decision of Jamaat-e-Islami to field Hardit Singh as its candidate. Hamid Mir said that despite being a major Islamic and fundamentalist party, there is a political strategy behind Jamaat-e-Islami fielding non-Muslim candidates. In Pakistan’s provincial elections, seats are reserved for minority communities. Many parties have fielded minority candidates in these seats. Even Jamaat-e-Islami is looking to win these seats and hence has nominated a Sikh candidate.

These rights to minorities in the constitution of Pakistan
According to the Civil Information Portal of Pakistan, the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees political inclusion of minorities by reserving a quota in provincial legislatures. Article 51(4) of the Constitution reserves ten seats in the Pakistani Parliament for minorities. Article 106 also guarantees non-Muslim reserved seats in all provincial assemblies. Section 48 of the Act empowers to take special measures for the election of non-Muslims.

Discussion happening in Pakistani social media
There is also a discussion in Pakistan’s social media to make a non-Muslim candidate of Jamaat-e-Islami. Many said that this seat was already reserved for minorities. In such a situation, Jamaat-e-Islami has not done Sikh any favor by making it a candidate. Many people have also talked about getting the posters being shared to be investigated.

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