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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Kamran Michael is he the right man to become first Christian Senator?

Kamran Michael (centre) slicing a cake!

We received an interesting article from Agenzia Fides that highlights the potential elavation to Senator status of Kamram Michael, MPA for the Punjab holding post as Minister of Finance and Minister for Minorities.  Kamran Michael stands a good chance to secure a position becoming the first Christian Senator, after the recent amendment to Article 51 of Pakistan Constitution in June 2010 that has secured 4 reserved Minority seats.  The blog post uploaded by Agenzia Fides questions the choice of candidate following concerns of his involvement in the Gosh-e-Aman incident.  Here is a copy for your perusal:

Kamran Michael, a Christian politician who is an active member of the "Pakistan Muslim League-N", will be the first Christian Senator in the history of the country. The Party, in fact, has nominated him as leader for the seats reserved for religious minorities, in the election of the Senate to be held in March. The 100 Senate seats are assigned half through elections held every three years and the remaining seats are occupied according to the directions of the Provincial Assemblies and political parties in proportion to their presence in Parliament. The parties have the opportunity to reserve a seat for religious minorities (Hindus and Christians) to a maximum of 4 seats in the Assembly. The PML-N which, according to calculations, will be entitled to a seat for minorities, has indicated the name of Kamran Michael, who already holds the post of Minister of Finance and Minister for Minorities in the Province of Punjab. The presence of Michael in the Senate "is a good sign for the Christian community" note sources of Fides. But, according to some observers, Kamran Michael "traded" this appointment with the demolition of the Institute of Caritas "Gosha-e-Aman ", which took place recently in Lahore. In fact, Michael is accused of having helped some members of his party to continue the operation, in order to get political benefit.
The 4 seats reserved for religious minorities in the Senate are a result of the policy of the Catholic Shabhaz Bhatti, the late Federal Minister for Minorities, killed a year ago. 


  1. Morning Will
    you right in saying that he might have sold our community, he came to nelson in early January and to be honest he didn’t know from his ass and elbow in my opinion; his visit to the Pope also infuriated me because he was recoded saying that there is no problem for the minority in Pakistan. Another incident where a young man died and you probably know and there was a protest march demanding that they authorities do something about it, Mr Kamran was preset there but did not intervene in the matter and due to his lack of support lots of our people were beaten and put in prison, so this chap is not the right person.

    I know this is negative but we need a leader who is in touch with his community not a brown noser

  2. 2012-02-17 PAKISTAN
    Lahore Court rejects application under blasphemy law in Catholic institute demolition case
    Jibran Khan
    Judges reject Zenobia Richards' appeal. She was a resident of the Gosh-e-Aman Institute, which was destroyed on orders of the Punjab government. She based her claim on the destruction of copies of the Bible, a rosary and a statue of the Virgin Mary. The Church has been silent over the matter. A Lahore Catholic says more courage is needed to defend rights.

    Lahore (AsiaNews) - The High Court rejected an appeal filed by Zenobia Richards, 61, a resident of the former Gosh-e-Aman (place of peace) Institute. The Catholic-run institution, which was open to Christians and Muslims, was demolished on 10 January on orders of the Punjab provincial government. Initially, the Catholic Church had filed a case over the building's ownership and demolition. However, Ms Richards filed a second case, accusing those who tore down the structure of blasphemy because they also destroyed copies of the Bible, a rosary and a statue of the Virgin Mary.

    For weeks, Zenobia Richards has defied catholic leaders who called for prudence and to let Church leaders handle the case in court and with the proper authorities. Instead, she decided to pursue legal channels against the police and the Lahore Development Authority using the 'black law'.

    The judges disagreed with her claim. Under pressure from the Punjab government, they threw out of court her request under Articles 295 and 295A of the Pakistan Penal Code to punish those responsible for the unlawful destruction of religious material belonging to the Christian minority.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Ms Richards said she fears "no one". In fact, she points a finger at Kamran Michael, a minority member of the Punjab legislature, accusing him of being "involved in the matter."

    She cannot hold back her anger over the wall of silence that has befallen the desecration of religious material. "I can proudly say that I have fought against the corrupt system and will continue my struggle."

    Her lawyer, Yousaf Diyal, the Church hierarchy has shown weakness in the matter by not taking a "firm stand" against the illegal demolition.

    Another Lahore Catholic, who asked for his name to be withheld, said that the Church, in order to find a solution, decided not to make it a public case.

    This is a "clear case of violating a right and of the illegal demolition of a charitable institution", he explained. Church leaders should take clearer position. Instead, silence is "weakening Christians". For her part, Ms Richards should be praised as an example Christians should follow to "stand for their rights."

    Established in 1887, the Gosh-e-Aman Institute stood on a 2-acre area now worth billions of rupees. It had a senior citizens' home, a girls' school, a convent and a chapel.

    The legal arguments over who owned the structure and the land has been going on for some time; at least since a woman convert to Islam had sought shelter in the facility.

    On orders of the provincial government, the structure was demolished on 10 January, a day dubbed 'black Monday' by Pakistani Christians.