Hopes of religious minorities grow with the next government of Imran Khan
ACN MaltaAfter winning the recent general elections in Pakistan, renowned former cricketer Imran Khan, the political leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), publicly announced that he wants to follow the legacy of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had a vision in which all citizens of Pakistan – including those belonging to religious minorities – would enjoy the same rights of freedom, equality and justice.
In his first speech, Imran Khan said he would not live in the Prime Minister’s residence in order to reduce expenses. He is also taking a firm stand against corruption, asking mass media and the offices of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to report any corruption among members of his political party immediately.
Fr. Qaisar Feroz OFM, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Communications Commission in the Catholic Episcopal Conference in Pakistan, commented: “If Imran Khan manages to do it, there will be a big change in the history of Pakistan and it will be a success of his government”. Fr Feroz said that the political leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf are well-educated and highly qualified politicians, adding “and if Imran Khan names the right people for government ministries, it will surely be a big step forward”.
Haroon Imran Gill, a Christian member of the provincial assembly of the province of Punjab and winner of the seat reserved for minorities, stated: “I am pleased that Imran Khan won the elections: he is a very passionate leader in taking care of the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan. He is an international personality who will know how to work to improve the situation of religious and oppressed minorities in Pakistan”.
Kailash Sarhadi, a member of the Sikh community, Secretary of the Interreligious Commission for Harmony of Pakistan said: “Pakistani religious minorities are rather favourable to Imran Khan. The leader believes in Islamic teachings and wants to give rights, freedom and justice to minorities in a similar way to what happened in Arabia in the times of Prophet Muhammad”.
Imran Khan won the hearts of many with his first speech as head of the main political party in the 2018 elections, which Sarhadi said: “addressed and embraced every person in the country without any difference of caste, creed, ethnicity and religion”.
Kailash said, “I am confident about the improvement of the education system and the health system in the country”. Imran Khan has already set up a centralized education system in Khyber Pakhtun Khwa province and built two hospitals and a university that operate according to international standards and serve everyone, rich and poor.