In a first, a turban-clad member of the Sikh community, Gurdeep Singh from Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf (PTI) has been elected to the senate of Pakistan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday. Turban-clad Singh contested on a minority seat from the provincial assembly of KP.
Gurdeep Singh defeated his opponent on the minority seat with a heavy margin to be elected to the upper chamber of parliament of Pakistan. He secured an overwhelming majority of 103 votes against Ranjeet Singh, a candidate of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl, secured just 25 votes. While Asif Bhatti of Awami National Party received 12 votes.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mahmood Khan, had claimed that Singh would be elected with 102 votes, however, he secured one additional vote indicating that an opposition member also voted for him.
— Shahid Raza (@schaheid) March 3, 2021
— Radesh Singh Tony (@aoepoeRadesh) March 3, 2021
The Sikh community is joyous about the election of Gurdeep Singh to the senate. He hails from Swat and is the first elected member of the Sikh community from this region.
Sardar Gurdeep Singh was previously elected as the minority councillor from the Chakesar area of Shangla in 2005. He belongs to a notable Sikh family who left India to settle in the Chakesar area of Shangla during the partition. His father is a well-known businessman associated with the trade of grain for 40 years.
We did it again
Our Sikh minority leader elected to Pakistani Senate from Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province.
— Farzana Shah (@Jana_Shah) March 3, 2021
— Gagan Preet Singh (@Gaganpreetpti) March 3, 2021
His sister has been married to Sardar Soren Singh, who served as the special assistant to the chief minister in the previous PTI government. Unfortunately, Soren Singh was assassinated in 2016 in Buner.
The Sikh community believes the election of Gurdeep Singh to the senate will be rewarding and productive for the country’s Sikh population.
Before his election to the senate, Chairperson of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa National Peace Council, Dr Sahib Singh had said Sikh communities for the first time will have an actual representation in the upper house of parliament of Pakistan with the expected win of Gurdeep Singh.
We kept looking at Muslim leaders or the Federal Minister for Minorities to voice our concerns, but now that Sardar Gurdeep Singh has received a ticket, Sikh Pakistanis will for the first time have actual political representation, along with other minorities,” the chairperson said while talking to Express Tribune in February.