The number of voters belonging to religious minorities in Pakistan has climbed to 3.63 million from 2.77m registered in electoral rolls for the 2013 general elections — registering an increase of 0.860m which is 30 per cent in five years, reported the Dawn.
According to the report, Hindu voters continue to maintain their majority among the minorities, but they no more constitute over half of total non-Muslim voters as was the case in 2013.
The report informs that the number of Hindu voters before 2013 polls was 1.40m while total number of voters of minority communities was 2.77m — the former being higher than the collective number of all other minorities. The number of Hindu voters now stands at 1.77m. They are mostly concentrated in Sindh where in two districts they form over 40 per cent of total registered voters.
Christians form the second largest group of non-Muslim voters, totalling 1.64m with over 1m settled in Punjab followed by over 200,000 in Sindh. Their number has grown at a relatively high pace as compared to Hindu voters as it was 1.23m before 2013 general polls.
The total number of Ahmadi voters is 167,505 — most of whom dwell in Punjab, followed by Sindh and Islamabad. The number in 2013 stood at 115,966.
Of the total 8,852 Sikh voters, most are settled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa followed by Sindh and Punjab. Their presence in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas is more than their combined strength in Balochistan and Islamabad. They numbered 5,934 in 2013.
The number of Parsi voters has grown from 3,650 in 2013 to 4,235. Majority of them is settled in Sindh followed by KP. The number of Buddhist voters has increased from 1,452 in 2013 to 1,884. Most of them live in Sindh and Punjab.
There are a total of 31,543 voters from the Bahai community on the electoral rolls.
The document makes no mention of Jewish voters in Pakistan, though in 2013 there were 809 Jewish voters in the country — 427 women and 382 men.