Baldev Kumar, a former lawmaker of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who has sought asylum in India, says that he has been receiving threatening phone calls from across the border.
Baldev Kumar has sought political asylum in India for himself and his family, citing atrocities against minorities in Pakistan.
A member of Imran Khan’s party, Baldev had served as Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) of the reserved seat of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa for 36 hours in 2016, after his predecessor Soran Singh was murdered.
According to Pakistani law, if the MPA is killed another member of the same party takes over the post. However, Baldev Kumar had to step down as Soran Singh’s family accused him of murder.
Baldev spent two years in jail but was acquitted by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in 2018 over benefit of doubt’.
During the hearings of the case, Baldev Kumar faced abused and hurled shoes by members of the Sikh community, who expressed their anger against him for the alleged murder.
In January 2019, Baldev Kumar along with his family comprising of a 15-year-old son, 11-year-old daughter and his wife, left for India. Sources in Kumar’s family told India Today TV in Pakistan that he had left for India soon after his bail was approved.
Baldev Kumar maintains that he wants refuge in India because of the worsening situation of minorities in Pakistan.
Atrocities against minorities in Pakistan
Referring to the case of Jagjit Kaur, who was kidnapped, converted to Islam and married off to a Muslim boy, Baldev Kumar said, this has been going on in all parts of Pakistan.
Look at what happened to the Sikh girl. What is happening in Sindh to minorities, he added.
Since Baldev Kumar’s case came to light, he has been talking about the existing influence of Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on minorities and their bodies.
ISI decides who will be a member of committees of minorities. They take all decision for them also, he said.
Baldev Kumar also maintained that the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor will be used by Pakistan’s agencies to promote the Pro-Khalistan elements.
Baldev Kumar is a murderer: Pakistan
Imran Khan’s cabinet minister Fawad Hussain claimed that Baldev Kumar fled to India to avoid prosecution for the murder of his party member.
“Irony is Baldev Kumar committed a cold blooded murder of Swaran Singh only because he was next in the line for MPA list and he became MPA because of this murder,a group of Endians is celebrating what?A criminal only to avoid case in Pak has asked for Political asylum? #Newlow (sic),” Fawad Hussain said in a tweet.
Baldev Kumar’s case attracted reaction from Pakistan’s Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government, whose spokesperson said, New Delhi is using Baldev Kumar to divert world’s attention from its atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
Ajmal Wazir, spokesperson for the KP government said that the man was behind Singh’s murder.