Islamabad: Pakistan’s minority leader Gurdeep Singh became the first turban-clad Sikh representative from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province to be elected to the country’s upper house of the parliament.
Gurdeep Sindh from Pakistan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party defeated rival candidates on a minority seat by a huge margin in the Senate elections, making him the first visibly Sikh national leader in the Senate.
Singh hails from Swat district in KP and belongs to one of the most prominent Sikh families in the region. He earlier told the media that he was honored to receive a ticket to the senate from PTI as a representative of the Sikh community. Prime Minister Imran Khan had shown immense respect to his family, he said. “I plan to go forward with his mission, and in doing so, I will hopefully make Pakistan proud,” he was quoted as saying by Express Tribune.
With his election to the Senate, Pakistan’s Sikh community will have its own representative in the top forum of the legislature. With Gurdeep Singh as a senator, “Sikh Pakistanis will, for the first time, have actual political representation” says Khyber Pakhtunkhwa National Peace Council Chairperson Dr Sahib Singh. He believed that Gurdeep Singh would equally represent all minorities of Pakistan in the parliament besides the Sikh community.
Gurdeep Singh was previously elected as a minority councilor from the Chakesar area of Shangla in 2005. He joined PTI following the assassination of his brother-in-law Sardar Soren Singh in 2016 who was an active member of PTI and played a key role in the welfare of minority community in Pakistan.
Singh’s victory is being celebrated a significant achievement for diversity in Pakistan. Many Pakistanis believe that Gurdeep Singh’s win in the Senate polls is good for the country and it represents a religiously diverse and tolerant Pakistan.
Although 96 per cent of Pakistan’s population is Muslim but the country is also home to diverse religious minorities including Christian, Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs and Buddhists.
Another Hindu minority leader who belongs to Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Danesh Kumar, also won the Senate seat from Balochistan