The Sardar’s replacement: Singh’s ‘killer’ to take his seat if proven innocent

Sikh community demands representation in K-P Assembly

Saba Rani April 26, 2016
The last rites of Sardar Soran Singh held in Buner. PHOTO: PPI


Sikhs in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have demanded representation in the provincial assembly after the assassination of Sardar Soran Singh in Buner.

The deceased was the minority affairs adviser to chief minister and was allegedly murdered by a political rival.

Singh lost his life to a murder allegedly orchestrated by PTI minority leader Baldev Kumar who was ignored by the party for a reserved seat ticket to the assembly.

Ironically, Baldev is now a suspended MPA in line to take Singh’s seat as the suspect was second on PTI’s priority list after the slain Sikh parliamentarian.

The Sikh community demanded representation, saying the government should choose another member from their community as it would soften the blow of losing a dedicated leader.

“We want our representative in the assembly again,” said Sahib Singh, a member of the Sikh community. “Although the government submitted its priority list for minorities after the election in 2013, at least an adviser can also be selected from the [Sikh] community.”

The PTI-led government submitted its priority list for the reserved minority seat. Top priority was given to Soran Singh who became a member of the assembly and the name of Baldev Kumar, who is in the custody of the Malakand police, was second in line. Third on the list was Ravi Kumar and fourth was Wazir Zada.

Deputy Director of the K-P Election Commission Khushal Zada told The Express Tribune that Baldev Kumar would be an MPA on the reserved seat unless a court convicted him of Singh’s murder.

He would then be disqualified under Article 63. “When the provincial government announces the vacant seat for minorities, Baldev will fill it as his name is second on the priority list”.

The deputy director stated that if the suspect was proven innocent, he would formally become a member of the house. “If the court announces him as a convict, speaker of the assembly will issue a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan which would disqualify him,” he concluded.

IGP visits Buner

IGP Nasir Khan Durrani visited Buner district to review progress in the investigation of the murder of Singh.

A handout issued by the police department on Tuesday said Malakand DIG Azad Khan, Buner DPO Syed Khalid Mehmood Hamdani, DC Sikander Zeeshan and other officials accompanied the IGP.

During his visit, Durrani paid homage to the services rendered by Singh to create religious harmony in society. He said Singh was a true Pakistani who promoted nationalism and dedicated his life to resolve issues of the people irrespective of caste, creed, gender or religion. The IGP directed police officials to provide foolproof security to Singh’s family.

Later, the IGP visited the office of the Buner DPO and chaired a meeting to review progress in the investigation. He issued orders to associate the technical wing of CTD with the special team in order to gather evidence through cellular forensics.

He told police officials that evidence should be brought on the case file.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2016.