GILGIT    -    Elections for the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Assembly are to be scheduled on 15th November this year. More than 7 lac Muslim voters will poll their votes in favour of their candidates but Christian, Sikh and other minorities who have been living in GB since long ago cannot contest in these elections as candidates. Though during the tenure of previous government in GB, after 2015, these minorities had been granted the right to contest election of local bodies after amendment in local bodies act of GB. Israr Udin, a human rights activist and coordinator of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said that more than 500 Christians, Sikhs and other minorities were living in GB but they were still deprived of their right to contest as candidate in general election in GB. He said that though our constitution categorically granted them the guarantee of political rights, they could not choose their own candidates in these elections. Israr added that it was a grass violation of constitution of Pakistan because we were depriving our own people of their political rights. He said that I was intending to take the issue on national level. He informed that in 2016 a committee was formed under the supervision of late Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Asma Jahangeer which put forwarded its recommendations to protect the rights of minorities on policy level. Israr Ahmad further stated that soon I would send my recommendations to higher authorities. 

Renowned politician, progressive leader and senior lawyer Ehsan advocate also emphasised upon to leadership and policy makers to do something for the protection of political rights of minorities in GB so that they could take part as candidate to contest these election.