Same Old ‘Naya Pakistan’: Pak National Assembly Rejects Bill To Allow Non-Muslims To Become President, PM

Same Old ‘Naya Pakistan’: Pak National Assembly Rejects Bill To Allow Non-Muslims To Become President, PMPakistan flag (RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)

While Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan makes tall claim of treating minorities as equal to other citizens in his ‘Naya Pakistan’, the National Assembly of Pakistan on Tuesday (1 October) rejected a bill proposing to allow non-Muslims to become President or Prime Minister (PM) of the Islamic Republic, reports Asian News International (ANI).

In Pakistan, non-Muslims are allowed to contest elections and become a lawmaker, but such members can not hold the President's or the PM's office. It was in a bid to alter this anomaly that a Christian lawmaker belonging to the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), named Naveed Aamir Jeeva, had tabled the bill.

Jeeva's bill aimed to amend the Articles 41 and 91 of the Constitution of Pakistan. However, the bill was blocked by a majority voice vote.

Meanwhile, hailing the National Assembly of Pakistan for having blocked the passage of the bill, Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) member Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali asserted that no law against Islamic teachings and values can be passed, or even be introduced or debated in the Parliament.

It should be noted that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in December 2018, months after he assumed office, had claimed that in his ‘Naya Pakistan’, minorities would be treated as equal.

“Naya Pakistan is Quaid’s Pakistan and will ensure that our minorities are treated as equal citizens, unlike what is happening in India,” Khan had said on birth anniversary of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in December 2018.