A Pakistani Hindu lawmaker submitted a bill in the lower house of the Parliament seeking that religious minority be constitutionally referred to as 'non-Muslims'. He said that the bill will end discrimination and establish equality and justice for every citizen.
The lawmaker is identified as Keeso Mal Kheeal Das, a member of the National Assembly from the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party. He submitted a private member bill under rule 118 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007.
In the bill, Das wrote, "It is against the spirit of the Constitution, 1973, to discriminate against a large number of population by declaring them a minority, when the sacrifices of that population are remarkable in every sphere of life for the prosperity, growth and bright future of the country."
“The word ‘Minority’ is used four times (in the constitution) while the word ‘non-Muslims’ is used 15 times, which reflects the intent of the makers of the Constitution. Therefore, the anomaly shall be omitted by substituting the word minority with the word non-Muslims,” the bill said.
Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim country but non-Muslims make more than 3.5 per cent of its about 220 million population. According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.
Since the last few decades, the Hindu population severely decline in Pakistan due to discrimination, persecution and forced conversions. Also, many ancient temples were demolished by local Muslims which led to the migration of Hindus to other countries, especially to India.