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ISLAMABAD: Votes of religious minorities can play a key role in the coming elections in about 96 constituencies of national and provincial assemblies.

Analysts believe minorities can change the electoral scene in many of these constituencies if they choose to collectively vote for specific political parties or candidates.

According to official statistics available with Dawn, there are 2.77 million non-Muslim voters in the country, and 13 districts in Sindh and two in Punjab have significant presence of these voters.

Umerkot and Tharparkar districts in Sindh have as high as 49 per cent and 46pc non-Muslim voters, respectively. In Umerkot, there are a total of 386,924 voters of which 189,501 belong to religious minorities. In Tharparkar, out of a total of 473,189 voters, 219,342 are non-Muslim.

In Mirpurkhas, the total number of voters is 590,035 and among them 192,357 (33pc) are non-Muslim.

In Tando Allahyar, 74,954 non-Muslims constitute 26pc of the total 288,460 voters.

In Badin and Sanghar, the proportion of non-Muslim voters is 19pc. Total number of voters in the two districts is 642,243 and 797,976, with 123,845 and 150,234 non-Muslim, respectively.

In Tando Mohammad Khan, 39,847 non-Muslims account for 17pc of total 231,522 voters. In Matiari, 81,589 non-Muslims constitute 13pc of total 302,265 voters.

In Karachi (south), total number of voters is 1,070,321 and among them 81,589 (8pc) are non-Muslim.

In Ghotki and Hyderabad, 41,031 and 62,243 non-Muslims account for 7pc of the total 571,636 and 928,236 voters, respectively.

In Chiniot and Lahore districts of Punjab — 35,335 and 247,827 non-Muslims constitute 6pc of the total 604,991 and 4,424,314 voters, respectively.

In Jamshoro and Kashmore districts of Sindh, 18,912 and 17,495 non-Muslims are 5pc of the total 373,097 and 355,904 voters, respectively.

Among 2.77m non-Muslim voters, 1.40m are Hindus, 1.23m Christians, 115,966 Ahmadis, 5,934 Sikhs, 3,650 Parsis, 1,452 Buddhists and 809 Jews.

Jews and Parsis are two minorities in which number of women is higher than that of men. There are 1,915 Parsi female voters against 1,735 male voters. The number of Jewish women voters is 427 against 382 men in the community.

Talking to Dawn, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) chairman Tariq Malik asked members of the minority communities to check their names in voter lists through Nadra’s SMS service by sending the number of their computerised national identity card to the code 8300 in a text message.

Comments (16) Closed

Gerry D'Cunha Mar 19, 2013 10:16am
which political party deserves the minorities votes? of course not PPP & PML(N)
K G Surendran Mar 19, 2013 10:21am
Interesting statistic!
Agha Ata (USA) Mar 19, 2013 12:38pm
Unity is Strength. If they only have FAITH and work with discipline, they will become a real power. Does that sound familiar . . . ?
debater Mar 19, 2013 01:28pm
Why are minorities not allowed to participate in the electrol system by having their own candidates elected for key positions in Pakistan election.
Mohammad Akram Mar 19, 2013 01:51pm
Minorities are not being treated equal in Pakistan under PPP led government PML N is also to be blamed because they failed to provide protection A recent destruction of their homes in Lahore and previous many of similar attacks on them and their properties is a shame on the government of Punjab. They failed totally to protect them and now is the time that they will vote with great sense and surely not going to vote PML N or PPP Why should they waste their vote on parties who do not treat them as Pakistanis. It is a wake up call for them and they must use their vote for their betterment
farid Mar 19, 2013 03:59pm
Vote PTI, they have a liberal agenda.
farid Mar 19, 2013 03:59pm
Xhizar Zuzat Mar 19, 2013 05:51pm
Where do you gt your information? There are not even 3,000 Parsis in total in Pakistan including children, never mind voters! Also, I do not believe there are any Jews in Pakistan; they would not be so foolish as to actually live there any longer. Perhaps 50 years ago....
Gerry D'Cunha Mar 19, 2013 06:52pm
debater: are you not aware that in islamic republic of pakistan,minorities do not have the right to hold key posts in pakistan - leave alone separate electrol
S.A. AFAQI Mar 19, 2013 08:05pm
During the registration of my political right of vote, if anyone asks or questions about my faith or religion, all these sort of irrelevant things will be against the principles and the policy statement of the founder of Pakistan Quiad-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who had clearly declared in his August 11, speech, in which he had said that religion is a private affair between God and an individual and no political or state institution or governmental functionary has got the right to interfere in the private religious affairs of any citizen of Pakistan. And if anyone does this sort of 'wrong' thing, at least I would not like to have my vote in the electoral list, because I am a true, practical follower of founder of Pakistan M.A. Jinnah.
FS Mar 19, 2013 08:39pm
Never knew Pakistan had Jewish votes!
Fahim Mar 19, 2013 09:35pm
I am delighted to hear that Pakistan still have few Parsis and Jews left among other minorities. Lets cherish the diversity of many faiths and communities that exist in Pakistan.
Israr Khan IsmailZai. Mar 20, 2013 01:05am
Learn From All Mar 20, 2013 01:38pm
At the time of independence, Pakistan had about 15% Hindu population which has been reduced to 3% due to religious intolerance. It is amazing that that this ugly fact is never reported.
Ijaz Mar 20, 2013 05:24pm
I live in the UK and am a muslim - there is no separate roll here.
Gerry D'Cunha Mar 20, 2013 06:16pm
Ijaz: at least muslims hold seats in parliament and in the lords in fair and open election