Islamabad’s Christian community concerned over local govt polls bring held on Christmas eve

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Zubair Qureshi

The federal government’s Christian population (around 200,000 Christians are living in Islamabad’s 8 Christian colonies) has expressed serious concerns over the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to hold local bodies’ election in Islamabad on the eve of Christmas i.e. December 24, 2022.

The day is just like Chaand Raat for the Muslims when the Muslims go out for next Eid Day shopping. Thus, they said while talking to Pakistan Observer, it would not be possible for them to cast vote or indulge in politics on that sacred day.

Manzoor Masih, Member (Minorities) of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) has also requested for postponement of local bodies elections in the city on Dec 24 as the day will be coinciding with Christmas and will affect preparations for the festival.

Masih in the letter has stated that the NCHR’s vision is to see a progressive Pakistan where human rights of all faiths, races and ethnicity were respected and celebrated.

“Through our dedicated team across Pakistan, NCHR is committed towards fulfilling its mandate of promoting and protecting the human rights of all citizens. Being the NCHR member minorities, I want to bring the concern of Christian residents of Islamabad to your kind notice regarding the election of local government in Islamabad Capital Territory being held on Dec 24.

The day of polling is not suitable for the Christian residents of Islamabad as majority of them will be busy in preparation for Christmas,” he added.

While talking to Pakistan Observer, Manzoor said on Thursday that it was not only a matter related with faith, it was also a political issue and can have serious impact.

For instance, out of 100 UCs of Islamabad Capital Territory, in almost 80 or 85 UCs, Christian candidates will be contesting.

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