Hindu lawmaker resigns, settles in India

Published: January 30, 2011
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Ram Singh Sodho

Ram Singh Sodho

KARACHI: A Hindu lawmaker from an opposition party has resigned from his seat reportedly after receiving threats and has shifted to India, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Ram Singh Sodho was a member of the current Sindh Assembly on a reserved seat for minorities on a ticket of the Pakistan Muslim League led by the Chaudhrys of Gujrat.

The Times of India reported that Sodho received threats and moved to India, from where he sent his resignation to Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro.

The resignation was accepted with immediate effect.

However, sources told The Express Tribune that Sodho had handed his resignation to Arbab Ghulam Rahim, chief of the PML-Q Likeminded Group in Sindh, before leaving the country. The Election Commission of Pakistan acted immediately and notified the election of Chettan Mal, the next candidate on the party’s list of non-Muslim candidates on reserved seats.

Sodho, who belongs to Mithi, in Tharparkar district, had been receiving threats for the last two years, family members said. “I cannot say who had issued him threats, but his party leaders and family members were aware of it,” Paret Lal, a cousin of Sodho, told The Express Tribune. He refused further comments on the issue.

But his party colleagues denied there were any threats to Sodho’s life. “It’s baseless. There were no threats to his life,” said Razzaque Ramho, deputy parliamentary leader of the PML-Q Likeminded Group in the Sindh Assembly.

“His eldest son had died in the earthquake and another son lives in India. He has shifted to India only because he cannot move properly due to a problem in his spinal cord,” Ramho added.

In his resignation, too, Soho cited failing health as the reason for his decision. Sodho said that he was stepping down because he could not continue as member of the Sindh Assembly due to his deteriorating health.

Pitambar Sewani, another minority legislator from the ruling PPP, said that Sodho had been trying to get political asylum in India for the last couple of years. “We condemn this practice which is aimed at defaming the province of Sindh,” Sewani told The Express Tribune.

Sodho, a relative of Rana Chandar Singh, was first elected as a member of the Sindh Assembly in 1985 and was made adviser to the chief minister. He had contested the local bodies election in 2001 and served as deputy mayor of Tharparkar district from 2001 to 2005.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • kumar
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:15PM

    Hindus/Minorities are suffering in pakistan. Forced conversions and threats to their life has caused their population to come down to less than 2% from over 30% before independence.
    This is the most visible result of establishing a islamic republic, Islam is intolerent and cannot exist with other religions in a modern society and this is the reason why Islam should be explicitly prohibited in the U.S and Europe also, which today are civilised societies because of the absence of Islamic influence.Recommend

  • Jan 30, 2011 - 12:48PM

    Jinnah always wanted separate electorates for minorities – his reasoning was that under majority rule, minorities would never get represented. Thank heavens that Nehru and Patel did not accept separate electorates. It has been a stormy process, but today no party in India can hope to win Delhi ignoring the minorities – because members of the majority community depend on votes from all citizens in a particular constituency – this has given the minorities a collective voice of sorts. Thank God. Recommend

  • abdullah
    Jan 30, 2011 - 1:12PM

    wonder y he waited for 63 years to make up these stories……shabaz bhatti is a minority minister he 2 gets threat..this is not the way leaving hindu community and than running away……what kind of lawmaker r u ???????????????..even ppl in ruling get threats …look at zardari he has not left …he has got the biggest threat…i hope soon v get a representative of hindu minority in sindhRecommend

  • R. Khan
    Jan 30, 2011 - 2:06PM

    Sad! Jinnah would be in extreme pain. Recommend

  • Farooq Khan
    Jan 30, 2011 - 2:12PM

    If Sodho could have waited a bit longer , we all would have been accompanying him ….the time has come…almostRecommend

  • hassan Jafferi
    Jan 30, 2011 - 2:26PM

    there are reports that more than one dozen hindu famalilies have been shifted from Pakisyan to India following threats to them. Where is writ of government and why PPP led government has failed to compoly with its promise to protect minorities Recommend

  • Taimur
    Jan 30, 2011 - 2:34PM

    Good.. please go take a bath in Ganga now.Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jan 30, 2011 - 2:44PM

    thts sadRecommend

  • syed m zafar
    Jan 30, 2011 - 3:18PM

    One must not jump to conclusions. Picture has two sides. The truth must be brought out to the public. This is important then comments could be more realistic. Understand the religion first then one should comment. Recommend

  • Vaqar
    Jan 30, 2011 - 3:19PM

    Taimur you should be ashamed of yourself. If as a nation we can not protect our minorities we are not holding ourselves true to Quaid-e-Azams ideals.Recommend

  • Ravi [India]
    Jan 30, 2011 - 3:21PM

    @abdullah:
    Be a hindu in pakistan to understand the situation.
    Hindus are intimidated, killed, raped, converted (naturally to ISLAM)in pakistan.
    All other minorities in pakistan are basically minority sects within muslims in pakistan.
    Hindus and Sikhs are the only exceptions. Recommend

  • faraz
    Jan 30, 2011 - 3:38PM

    I think i time will come when all minorities will leave this countryRecommend

  • Amer
    Jan 30, 2011 - 5:07PM

    The reason for him leaving Pakistan are more then the threats he was recieving. The Indians and Pathetics on this news site don’t leave a chance to blame Islam and Pakistan. Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    Jan 30, 2011 - 7:04PM

    I think security problem lies in every country. In Pakistan Hindus are dominating the business community in Sindh province. They never have any concerns about security and behavior of Muslims. I belongs to Mirpur Mathelo small town along national highway near sukkur, where all large business are belonged to Hindus only. They are free to observe their religious activities.
    The issue of Ram Singh sodho is only political one. If u combine it with Hindu community then it is totally wrong. Recommend

  • ehabs
    Jan 30, 2011 - 7:28PM

    I wonder when people will stop glorifying a myth perpetuated by illiterate Arab tribesmen in the Bronze Age who didn’t even know the world was flat !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, wake up people!!!!!!

    Furthermore, as you can see very clearly from this example, the more a society steeps itself in religion, the MORE intolerant it becomes. This is no coincidence. Please, think rationally and not like those illiterate Arab tribesmen from the Bronze Age who knew only two things: war and religion.Recommend

  • Jan 30, 2011 - 7:52PM

    Not a good thing for Pakistan.Recommend

  • funny
    Jan 30, 2011 - 8:25PM

    @ prasad- you seem to have an incorrect understanding of the separate electorate system- it is more in line with affirmative action. Minorities have a vote in elections just as the other citizens of Pakistan. The only difference being that they are guaranteed a minimum number of seats, unlike the majority. And furthermore, they are free to stand for any seat in the country, over and above the separate seats allocated to them. Therefore, its a system of ensuring a minimum number of seats to minority members, but in no way does it disentitle the minorities from voting in or taking part in the mainstream electoral process.Recommend

  • Canuckistani
    Jan 30, 2011 - 9:05PM

    This article is total nonsense. Hindus are very well established in business in Sindh. Some of the biggest businessmen in interior Sindh are Hindus. His son was already living in India and he was a parliamentarian in Pakistan..he should be ashamed of himself for betraying the country that he called home (publicly at least) for over 63 years. I say good riddance..we don’t need people like him. Recommend

  • Ravi
    Jan 30, 2011 - 9:38PM

    @Taimur:
    Be cautious talibans are coming to bath in your blood Recommend

  • Robin
    Jan 30, 2011 - 9:39PM

    Wish more and more Indian Muslims will go to Pakistan Recommend

  • Raj
    Jan 30, 2011 - 11:18PM

    Pakistanis in Canada interact with Indians ( read Sikhs and Hindus ) with utmost respect. This gives me the impression that Pakistanis want to learn more about Indians in Canada. Sikhs who visit Pakistan come with loving memories of hospitality and love. This is sad that media is spinning one’s personal choice out of proportion on both sides of the border.Recommend

  • S Nighat
    Jan 31, 2011 - 12:55AM

    Today I went through BBC Udru report and really wondered to know that the MPA has sold all his property in Pakistan. If this kind of insecurity continues than our country will get bad name and no will turn up to invest here. Please work more for the minorities rights… they r equal citizens Recommend

  • Imran butt
    Jan 31, 2011 - 2:22AM

    There is no threat to non-muslims in Pakistan . Muslims are fighting with each other. Recommend

  • Seema Khalid
    Jan 31, 2011 - 5:03AM

    The intolerance that @Canuckistaniproject & @Taimur freely project is at the hands of the persecution of minorities.The slow crisis of intolerance is not to the Hindu community but is slow spreading into the Christian, Catholic, Parsi & other minorities is an out right disgrace.
    The Taliban sympathizers have infiltrated our society and their successful seeds of intolerance are the @Canuckistaniproject & @Taimur: of this world.
    It is only a matter of time the dream that was once Pakistan is being destroyed from within.Recommend

  • Jehan
    Jan 31, 2011 - 11:27PM

    @kumar:

    “This is the most visible result of establishing a islamic republic, Islam is intolerent and cannot exist with other religions in a modern society and this is the reason why Islam should be explicitly prohibited in the U.S and Europe also, which today are civilised societies because of the absence of Islamic influence.”

    As opposed to the Muslims suffering in India? I would never say that the KKK represents all Christian men and women or that the Goldstein shootings along with Sharon represent all Jews or that all Tamil Tigers Represent all those of the southern part of the subcontinent or even that Shiv Sena represents all Hindus. Shame on you for making such fascist remarks and preaching of what you hate. You have not only made a sensational remark, which indeed is another from of fundamentalism, but you have optimized the differentiation of being literate and being educated. How can tolerance exist when statements like these refuse the acknowledgment of co-existence? How can in any way at all lead to peace with such redundant thinking from both ends?Recommend

  • Asmat Jamal
    Feb 1, 2011 - 1:01PM

    Life has become difficult for every Pakistani. As a Hindu, he could go and settle in India. Muslims doesnot have such choices and opportunity other wise they will also pack and go.Recommend

  • Osama
    Feb 1, 2011 - 5:24PM

    Just tell me how many HINDU’s & CHRISTAINS has been killed in Pakistan???
    Making Issue of ‘NOTHING’ is Disgusting…..Recommend

  • Chaudry Aslam
    Feb 2, 2011 - 12:29PM

    @Osama: When Muslims are not safe in the country created for muslims in the name of Islam, so what is the question of Hindus and Christains?. Recommend

  • A Chatterji
    Feb 2, 2011 - 4:05PM

    @ Jehan – you are spot on … I second you on this ! But unfortunately, majority of Pakistanis are narrow minded. Admiration of Qadri on Taseer’s murder is a fine example !!Recommend

  • Jehan
    Feb 3, 2011 - 12:21AM

    @A Chatterji:
    If you agree with me, then you’ll also agree by generalizing it doesn’t help the situation. Tasser’s murder was a different shocking story. I have heard many examples how in India as well narrow-mindedness prevails and that too from first hand encounters. You’d be surprised of how many Pakistanis are actually against acts of intolerance and fundamentalism. Amazing how aggressive media personifications of Pakistanis seem to be everywhere but not global localization of themselves. This particular politician left the country for his personal reasons, he was a feudal here with many resources that the common man can not afford. We have a had a former Hindu Chief Justice not long ago even if it was for a interim period. If this particular politician left for whatever reason, I assure you it was not just life-threatening, if that was the case then all of Pakistan’s lawmakers would have shifted across the border now. Do minorities get threatened here? Yes, they do. However, so do men, women, children and old people, regardless of their creed, class and faith. Are you telling me that only unacceptable things like this happen in Pakistan?
    I’m sure I’m spot on again, but then again I’m sure you’d bring a paradox argument again.Recommend

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