APMA "unanimously" expels Christian MP Pervaiz Rafique
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) has decided "unanimously" to expel the Member of the Punjab Parliamentary Assembly Pervaiz Rafique. The decision has beem motivated by his political behaviour, contrary to the principles of the movement founded by Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic minister for minorities murdered by Islamic fundamentalists. In a note assigned to AsiaNews, Paul Bhatti - now special adviser to the Prime Minister for National Harmony - who succeeded his brother Shahbaz in the leadership of the Christian movement, states that Rafique's conduct is "contrary to the rules and ideals of the covenant" and "blemish the guiding principles of the founder, the martyr Shahbaz Bhatti".
On 31 January, APMA sent a warning letter to the Parliamentarian from the Punjab Assembly, asking for a formal explanation "within seven days" of his behaviour. However, Pervaiz Rafique never responded and continued his "trade" tarnishing "the reputation of the Alliance" and "deceiving people by harnessing the name of Shahbaz Bhatti and APMA platform."
Previously he was selected for a seat in the Punjab Provincial Parliament with the support provided by the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, for which he won one of the seats reserved for minorities. "No one can tarnish the rules and the name of the martyr Shahbaz - said his brother Paul - and now APMA has nothing to do with him. Rafique is solely responsible for his actions."
Paul Bhatti has recently returned to Pakistan, after a diplomatic mission to Italy where he met, among others, the Pakistani ambassador Tehmina Janjua. He also attended the ceremony marking the launch of a book dedicated to Shahbaz, during which he promoted the value of interfaith harmony and called for better education, the only way to defeat poverty and illiteracy.