Reservations of Churches over holding of PA Elections on Easter Sunday
National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), a human rights body of the Catholic Church expresses grave reservations about holding Provincial Elections on April 9, 2023, the Feast of Easter.
On February 20, 2022, President Dr. Arif Alvi has ordered the Provincial Commission of Pakistan to hold the Elections of the Provincial Assemblies of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on April 9, 2023, blatantly ignoring that the Christian communities around the world would be celebrating the Feast of Easter on the same date.
Chairperson NCJP His Excellency Bishop Samson Shukardin, His Grace Archbishop Joseph Arshad, President Catholic Bishops Conference, Rev Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf (Mani), National Director NCJP and Mr. Naeem Yousaf Gill, Executive Director NCJP in a joint statement has welcomed the suo-motu notice taken by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umer Ata Bandial in the wake of tensions between the stakeholders on disagreement on the electoral laws.
They collectively appealed to the relevant stakeholders to take into account the Feast of Easter while considering the date of the Provincial Elections. The Christian community will be celebrating the Feast of Easter on April 9, 2023. Holding elections on the same date would exclude the participation of a community that has played a vital role in the creation and building of Pakistan. It would thus be a blatant denial of Christians’ right to vote guaranteed by the constitution of Pakistan to every citizen.
We believe that the honorable Court and relevant authorities would review the date of the elections and change it accordingly.