Minorities’ votes may decide fate of 96 constituencies
ISLAMABAD: Votes of religious minorities can play a key role in the coming elections in about 96 constituencies of national and provincial assemblies.
Analysts believe minorities can change the electoral scene in many of these constituencies if they choose to collectively vote for specific political parties or candidates.
According to official statistics available with Dawn, there are 2.77 million non-Muslim voters in the country, and 13 districts in Sindh and two in Punjab have significant presence of these voters.
Umerkot and Tharparkar districts in Sindh have as high as 49 per cent and 46pc non-Muslim voters, respectively. In Umerkot, there are a total of 386,924 voters of which 189,501 belong to religious minorities. In Tharparkar, out of a total of 473,189 voters, 219,342 are non-Muslim.
In Mirpurkhas, the total number of voters is 590,035 and among them 192,357 (33pc) are non-Muslim.
In Tando Allahyar, 74,954 non-Muslims constitute 26pc of the total 288,460 voters.
In Badin and Sanghar, the proportion of non-Muslim voters is 19pc. Total number of voters in the two districts is 642,243 and 797,976, with 123,845 and 150,234 non-Muslim, respectively.
In Tando Mohammad Khan, 39,847 non-Muslims account for 17pc of total 231,522 voters. In Matiari, 81,589 non-Muslims constitute 13pc of total 302,265 voters.
In Karachi (south), total number of voters is 1,070,321 and among them 81,589 (8pc) are non-Muslim.
In Ghotki and Hyderabad, 41,031 and 62,243 non-Muslims account for 7pc of the total 571,636 and 928,236 voters, respectively.
In Chiniot and Lahore districts of Punjab — 35,335 and 247,827 non-Muslims constitute 6pc of the total 604,991 and 4,424,314 voters, respectively.
In Jamshoro and Kashmore districts of Sindh, 18,912 and 17,495 non-Muslims are 5pc of the total 373,097 and 355,904 voters, respectively.
Among 2.77m non-Muslim voters, 1.40m are Hindus, 1.23m Christians, 115,966 Ahmadis, 5,934 Sikhs, 3,650 Parsis, 1,452 Buddhists and 809 Jews.
Jews and Parsis are two minorities in which number of women is higher than that of men. There are 1,915 Parsi female voters against 1,735 male voters. The number of Jewish women voters is 427 against 382 men in the community.
Talking to Dawn, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) chairman Tariq Malik asked members of the minority communities to check their names in voter lists through Nadra’s SMS service by sending the number of their computerised national identity card to the code 8300 in a text message.
"Among 2.77m non-Muslim voters, 1.40m are Hindus, 1.23m Christians, 115,966 Ahmadis, 5,934 Sikhs, 3,650 Parsis, 1,452 Buddhists and 809 Jews."
Surprise to know that there are some buddhist and jew registered voters.As i knew there was no jews left in pakistan.
They are always in minority...but they are everywhere
What are Jews doing in this Taliban Emarat of ours and more importantly how come they identified themselves to be ready targets?
Too bad there isn't a synagogue around in open for PMLN/SSP to burn down for immediate popularity among voters.
I thought we had separate electorate in Pakistan and minorities don't vote on General seats.
You must have left Pakistan long time ago :-)
I just have happy memories of Golden era of Khalifa Zia ul Haq.
If I ever want to thank Musharraf for anything, this would be it; he canceled the black law that set up separate constituencies for minorities.
But minorities never vote as a block. This honor is again MQM's.
Good to know. Be ready for surprises this time. Thanks to PMLN's firm support to Shias and minorities.
Just the same typical propaganda about PMLN supporting LeJ outfits! You've been away for too long, that's for sure.
They asked for the votes once during a bye election in Jhang and that's all. If you ever care to Google the history, you would know that the harshest of all actions against LeJ was taken in NS's tenure during 90's. If people like Malik Ishaq go scot-free because of coward judges who can't handle threats against their family members then it's hardly PMLN's fault.
And, when NS talks about setting up military courts for the sole purpose of punishing these extremists, then the civil society, including the CJ, comes out swinging and starts condemning the proposal.
I'm for civil liberties but LeJ extremists and MQM thugs can only be reined in by the military courts. Let the military perform one good service in our lifetime.
They did that service when PMLN top cartel of corrupts run to Jeddah.