Right to vote, by choice or by force?

28 Jun

The right to vote is all we have with little hope for the democratic system to work. Democracy is relatively new and fragile every time it seizes a chance to have a comeback. But it brings huge disappointment when elected representatives take undemocratic steps to exhibit their power and authority unlawfully. It is the story of a legislator from one of the main politic parties who kidnapped and tortured a Christian woman on an excuse that Christians did not vote for him. In front of an influential legislator, the police appeared helpless and hesitated in exercising its authority. On a principal stand, it is obligatory for all political parties to have a system of accountability for its members who come into power to serve. Rather to prove a real opposition, PML-N needs to bring some drastic changes in its policy and the biggest step it needs to take is to make its representatives answerable for what they do.  No one has a right and power to force voters to vote in his/her favour and subsequently no revenge is justified in case of undesirable outcome.

RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– A Christian woman remained in hospital Monday, June 28, after she was beaten and briefly abducted on the orders of a prominent Pakistani Muslim legislator “because Christians didn’t vote” for him, family and police said.

Komal John, 38, was attacked June 5, by armed men at her home in the city of Rawalpindi, according to witnesses. They arrived in a car of parliamentarian Shakeel Awan of the influential Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) party, John’s family said. “Some six armed men came assaulted us and took my wife,” John’s husband and daughter added in a statement. Witnesses said Komal John was beaten before being pushed in the land cruiser vehicle.

The kidnapping reportedly came shortly after Awan fired John as his assistant on June 2 when discovering that a cousin had given the Christian woman money while visiting her when she was ill.

Awan objected to any support for John because “Christians didn’t vote for him” during a recent election in his district, according to Christians familiar with the case.


Local police was initially reluctant to intervene and denied a family request to launch a criminal investigation against Awan, local Christians said.

Awan allegedly had asked police to throw John’s relatives “out of the police station” and warned that “if they will try to file a complaint they will not see Komal again.”

The family contacted Christian advocacy groups, including the Christian Progressive Movement (CPM) and Ephlal Ministry, who said they gathered hundreds of activists outside the police station, blocking roads and shouting slogans to demand Komal’s release.

“Yes Shakeel Awan is a legislator, but that doesn’t mean he can go around and do anything he wants,” CPM Director Nayla J. Dayal told BosNewsLife. “He should be sacked immediately for this inhuman act”.


A senior police official told the crowd to remain calm. “I understand your pain, I will try my best to recover the lady,” said Rawalpindi District Coordination Officer Chaudhry Aslam Nawaz.

Amid mounting pressure, police reportedly contacted Awan saying that “it would be wise to release the woman”.  She was released around 3am local time June 16, when Awan’s car dropped her at the police station. The woman required hospitalization. No more details were given about her injuries, but investigators ruled out sexual abuse.

No criminal investigation has been launched against the legislator, BosNewsLife established. Awan refused to comment.

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Posted by on June 28, 2010 in Christians


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