Former lawmaker from Pakistan reaches India with family, seeks political asylum

Pakistan has repeatedly failed to ensure and guarantee the safety of the minority communities, a fact highlighted across international platforms repeatedly.

NEW DELHI: A former lawmaker from Pakistan has sought political asylum in India, citing atrocities against minorities. Baldev Kumar, a member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf – founded by current Prime Minister of the country Imran Khan, was framed in a murder case but later acquitted.

Kumar along with his family fled Pakistan and reached India. He is now seeking political asylum from New Delhi. 

A former Member of the Provincial Assembly from Barikot (Reserved) seat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, the 43-year-old says he was falsely charged with the murder of Soran Singh, the then special adviser to chief minister. He was finally acquitted in 2018 due to lack of evidence.

“Minorities are being prosecuted in Pakistan. Killings of Hindu and Sikh leaders being carried out,” Kumar told Zee News, adding that he does not want to return to Pakistan. 

The development comes days after a Pakistan-based Sikh girl was allegedly abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim man in Nankana Sahib area of Lahore. A massive furor emerged over the incident across the world. The girl is yet to be united with her family.

Pakistan has repeatedly failed to ensure and guarantee the safety of the minority communities living in the country, a fact highlighted across international platforms repeatedly. Minority women and girls are often forcibly converted to Islam while men are regularly killed. 

In August, a Pakistani NGO alleged that people are even prosecuted on the basis of their religious affiliations and practices bias in its behaviour towards the minorities. 

Speaking at the United Nations meet on Safety of Religious Minorities in New York, US, Human Rights Focus Pakistan President Naveed Walter had said, "Today, a large number of people are marginalised in their own societies. The biased behaviour dwells in other areas also, like the minorities on basis of religious affiliation as like in Pak, Ahmadis having a situation; like China, growing no. of countries using national security as pretext for restricted religious expression at role of religion in public domain," said Walter.