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Former Pak legislator seeks asylum in India

A former legislator from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-insaf (PTI) party vowed on Tuesday not to return to his country as minorities weren’t safe there.

Baldev Kumar, a former member of the provincial assembly from Barikot constituency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, also plans to seek asylum in India.

Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a lion, Kumar said India was progressing under his leadership. “I have come here to seek asylum and will request (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi Sahib to help us,” he said.

Kumar’s wife belongs to Khanna district of Ludhiana. The couple, along with their two children, have been here since last month.

In a press conference, 43-year-old Kumar also alleged that Imran Khan wanted to turn Pakistan into a terrorist state, without substantiating the claim. He said that former Punjab minister and Congress politician Navjot Singh Sidhu had an emotional connect with Khan, a former cricketer like him, but did not know about the real intentions of Pakistan PM.

He said, “Hindus, Sikhs and Christians are ill-treated in Pakistan. During religious ceremonies they (Pakistani authorities) would disrupt the power supply to gurudwaras. Hindu and Sikh leaders in Pakistan are being killed.”

Elaborating on the treatment meted out to even legislators of minority communities, Kumar said, “In 2016, they murdered party legislator Suran Singh. After his murder, I was made a legislator. Before taking the oath of office, the police arrested me and sent me to jail. I spent two years in jail in the fake case and was acquitted in 2018. But I remained a legislator for 36 hours. Earlier, I had been a councillor.” Kumar’s 11-year-old daughter Riya suffers from thalassemia, a blood disorder. He said medical treatment was not easily available in Pakistan and was out of the reach of most people.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published:
Sep 11, 2019 00:27 IST

Source: HindustanTimes