Ex-MLA from Imran Khan’s party in India, requests PM Modi for asylum


International desk, September 10: A former MLA from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, Baldev Kumar, on Tuesday sought political asylum from New Delhi.He has been staying with his wife Bhavana and two children in his in-laws’ house in Punjab’s Khanna town for over a month, NDTV reports.

“Minorities in Pakistan are not feeling secure and they have been denied rights. There is an increase in atrocities and target killings. I was put behind bars for two years,” the former MLA from Barikot (reserved) seat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly told reporters in Khanna, some 100 km from state capital Chandigarh.

He said he won’t go back to Pakistan.

“I came here with my full conscious mind. I am requesting (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi saab to grant me asylum and provide me security,” he said.

Mr Kumar, a 43-year-old turbaned man, said minorities were being persecuted in Pakistan. He said killings of Hindu and Sikh leaders were being carried out.

“My brothers are there (in Pakistan). Many Sikh and Hindu families want to immigrate to India. Gurdwaras are in bad shape. There is no respect for the minorities. There are cases of forcible conversion and such acts should not happen. A case of forcible conversion of a Sikh girl to Islam came to light recently,” he said.

He said he had expectations from Imran Khan but he too changed after winning the election.

According to him, he reached India on Eid (August 11).

Baldev Kumar was charged for the murder of a Sikh MLA in 2016.

Sardar Soran Singh, also an MLA from Tehreek-e-Insaf party who was elected to the provincial assembly on a minority seat, was shot dead in April 2016 in Buner district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.