A former legislator from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has sought asylum in India, claiming that minorities are deprived of their rights in his country, PTI reported. Baldev Kumar came to India with his wife and two children last month and is presently living in Khanna in Ludhiana district of Punjab.

“I have come here to seek asylum and will request [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi Sahib to help us,” Kumar told reporters in Khanna. Asked why he wanted to leave Pakistan and move to India, Kumar said: “The whole world is watching what is the situation in Pakistan now. We were expecting from [Pakistan Prime Minister Imran] Khan Sahib that when he came [to power], the fate of Pakistan will change.” Kumar said that hopes from Khan had been belied.

“You are watching the situation and I am also watching the same,” he said. “That day our Sikh girl was kidnapped. Such things should not take place.” Kumar was referring to the alleged kidnapping, forced conversion to Islam and marriage of a 19-year-old girl to a Muslim man. However, the girl had claimed that she had converted of her own will.

“Had minorities been getting rights in Pakistan, such a situation would not have arisen,” Kumar said. The former lawmaker claimed that there were many families in Sindh and Nankana Sahib that told him that if he got asylum in India, they would also try to leave Pakistan.

Kumar was a former Member of Provincial Assembly from Barikot seat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. Kumar had been arrested in 2016 in connection with the murder of Soran Singh, the chief advisor to the province’s then-Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, and expelled from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Dawn had reported. However, a court in Buner acquitted him in 2018.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.