PESHAWAR: The provincial assembly session called on Sunday to pass the 25th Amendment Bill to merge Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was also a blessing in disguise for Baldev Kumar, who was notified as MPA by Election Commission of Pakistan but resisted to take oath by the members of the assembly twice.

“I cannot express my feelings. Just that God works in mysterious ways. God restored my honour and nobody could imagine that this session would be called like this and proved a blessing in disguise for me,” said Baldev Kumar, who sounded humbled by the entire episode. He said that he would try to table a bill relating to minorities’ rights.

“Time is short but I am going to meet people and lobby for passage of a bill that I plan to table on the last working day of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly,” said Mr Kumar. He said he wished to do something for the people he was representing in the assembly no matter how short the time he was left with.

Wants to table a bill for minorities rights

The MPA, hailing from Barikot area in Swat, was arrested in the murder case of Soran Singh, the then special adviser to chief minister, on April 22, 2016. Being second in the list of PTI’s candidates on a reserved seat for minorities, Mr Kumar was notified as MPA but PTI expelled him from the party and he was not allowed by members of the assembly to take oath.

He was finally acquitted by the anti-terrorism court in Buner last month and he got a chance to take oath in the assembly session called on Sunday to pass a historic amendment in the Constitution about merger of tribal areas with KP.

The assembly session was adjourned thrice by the outgoing PTI government for various reasons. Hailing from a poor family, Mr Kumar said that he did not even own a house and all he had was honour in serving people of his area. He built a small sitting area of hujra where he entertained his guests since he was a member of the local government body earlier too.

Anybody could knock at his door even in the middle of the night for help but he felt disgraced when he was charged with the murder. It restricted his life.

He said if it was in someone’s hand it would not have been possible for him to take oath but God created the opportunity for him to take oath and regain his self-respect as representative of his people.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2018