Pakistan News

Former PTI lawmaker Baldev Kumar seeks political asylum in India

Former PTI lawmaker Baldev Kumar is seeking political asylum in India and has accused the Imran Khan-led government of mistreating minorities in Pakistan.

Kumar is currently in India on a three-month visa for medical treatment of his 12-year-old daughter who is a Thalassemia major patient. In a press conference on Tuesday in Khanna, India, the former PTI lawmaker alleged that Pakistan was an "unsafe country".

"[Even] Muslims are not secure there [Pakistan], how can a Sikh like me be secure there?"

When a reporter said that "his party" [Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf] was in power in the country, he replied: "[Yes], my party is in power in the country [...] Prime Minister Imran Khan was talking about a 'new Pakistan' but the old one was better compared to this new Pakistan."

"Minorities are not safe in Pakistan, not at all," he claimed, also accusing the government of "playing politics" on the Kartarpur corridor.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, however, rejected Kumar's allegations of mistreatment of minorities under the PTI government.

In a video statement, Yousafzai said Kumar could live wherever he wanted but that his allegations of mistreatment of minorities were baseless and false.

Kumar was arrested in 2016 on charges of killing the then adviser to the chief minister, Sardar Soran Singh. The police alleged that the motive for the murder was that by eliminating Soran Singh, the petitioner wanted to become an MPA.

As his name was at serial No 2 of the priority list of candidates which the PTI had submitted for the reserved seats for minorities in the 2013 general elections, therefore, he was declared MPA-elect by the Election Commission of Pakistan. He was, however, acquitted by an anti-terrorism court in Buner on Apr 26, 2018, and was set free from prison.

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