Pakistani minorities’ delegation in European Parliament: a tragicomedy

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What would you expect from someone who claims to be your representative when invited to attend a major conference by a body as respected and worthy as the European Parliament? Obviously you would want the person claiming to be your leader to present your case before this highly powerful and influential body in the most articulate manner that not only communicates to them the issues faced by you but also convinces them to help you and give power to your voice by siding with you. But what happened when Pakistan Minorities issue delegation led by Eiga on behalf of Mr Joseph Francis went to European Parliament? It was a disaster.

As it happened, on September 26, a delegation of Pakistani minority communities was invited to speak at the European Parliament where they were supposed to apprise the members of this prestigious organization with the issues that the minorities faced in Pakistan. The entire exercise seemed to be a kind of a circus. While the representative of the NGO, invited to speak at the occasion, only highlighted the issues faced by Pakistani minorities by reading out a paper, a self-proclaimed bishop also came up to speak on this occasion and failed miserably to make an impact. Why? Because he started speaking in Urdu and none of the members there were interested in what he wanted to say. It is a disgrace that the delegation representing the minorities of Pakistan at the European Parliament did not even know how to speak proper English and communicate the problems of the common people to the members of this house. This so-called bishop is himself an asylum seeker in Europe in fact.

More interestingly, when Miss Ruth Sunaila, who is a member of Pakistani parliament on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s reserved seat, tried to highlight the case in a more eloquent manner and started to make an impact on the parliament, she was snubbed by none other than the Pakistani High Commission as the ‘honourable’ envoy from the government of Pakistan felt that the state back home was being let down by the only speaker who actually made some sense while talking on the occasion.

The drama continued the next day as well. The Pakistani delegation that had to meet the members of the Dutch parliament next morning at 10:30am failed to reach the venue of the meeting on time. Meanwhile, the daughter of the local NGO’s owner arrived there alone, and without the members of the parliament who had come to discuss the issues with these parliamentarians.

The members of the Dutch parliament did not seem convinced at all by what the daughter of the NGO’s owner had been saying and it is strange still why she arrived there alone. More importantly, we need to ask the members of the delegation what exactly they were doing in this delegation if they couldn’t even arrive at one meeting that they had travelled for all the way from Pakistan. The woman leading the group arrived without her group. Isn’t it a kind of a tragicomedy if you look at it closely?

We can’t be sure if this delegation would actually make a difference at all. The most we can hope for right now is that it shouldn’t impact the lives of Pakistanis living in Europe negatively at least.