Former PTI lawmaker Baldev Kumar seeks political asylum in India

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Staff report

Peshawar

Former Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MPA Baldev Kumar, who was nominated in the murder case of another minority lawmaker Sardar Soran Singh from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has filed for political asylum in India.

Former MPA Baldev Kumar, a Sikh man, said he had already shifted his children to India and that he had travelled to New Delhi for political asylum.

In a press conference on Tuesday in Khanna, India, the former PTI lawmaker alleged that Pakistan was an “unsafe country”.

“[Even] Muslims are not secure there [Pakistan], how can a Sikh like me be secure there?”

When a reporter said that “his party” [Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf] was in power in the country, he replied: “[Yes], my party is in power in the country […] Prime Minister Imran Khan was talking about a ‘new Pakistan’ but the old one was better compared to this new Pakistan.”

“Minorities are not safe in Pakistan, not at all,” he claimed, also accusing the government of “playing politics” on the Kartarpur corridor.

In this regard, KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai reacted to the development, saying Kumar could live wherever he wished to.

“Baldev Kumar was on trial for the murder of our MPA Suran Singh. Although the court acquitted him [Kumar], the victim’s family still accuses him of murder. However, it was their personal matter. When the incident happened, since then Kumar’s party membership has been suspended, finished,” said Yousafzai, adding: “He is not a part of the PTI.”

Last year, on April 26, an anti-terrorism court in Buner had acquitted the Sikh politician and five others in the murder case of PTI MPA Sardar Soran Singh.

Singh was assassinated in his native village in Buner on April 22, 2016, following which KP police had claimed to have arrested six suspects, including Kumar.