Norway’s Elections: How Norwegian Pakistanis for their preferences?

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Report by Syed Sibtain Shah

Norwegian Pakistani community which mostly historically has been linked with their parents’ arrival in this beautiful land in 1970s, has different political approaches about the ongoing elections in the country.

Many of the Pakistanis are demanding from the political parties for easier visa’s conditions for their close relatives in Pakistan. They want removal of strict rules for immigration process special in case of family reunion calling the current process as difficult and discriminated.

The parliamentary elections’ campaign in Norway is moving forward smoothly and the polling process would be completed on 11th September, 2017.

A leading Pakistani social figure and media person said, we will not cast our vote in favor of the parties which are not listening our demands. Raising the issues, Mr Sharif Gondal said, Norwegian Pakistanis should not give vote to the parties which created problems in the context of family reunion. He explained, there are strict conditions for family reunion and these restrictions are including age of 24-year, 15-month for process and heavy amount in income. He added, even interview for visa for reunion at the embassy is also very difficult and overlong which causes that applicant feels like an accused.

Another social figure of Norwegian Pakistani community Malik Pervez has also similar views in the context of problems concerning Norwegian Pakistanis. He said, we have already raised these issues in various meetings.

Comparable observations were reported last weekend when a Norwegian Pakistani group called Family Network invited some Norwegian Pakistani and representatives of different political parties at Furuset centre in Oslo. Mr Aftab Warriach and Dr Tina Shagufta were hosts of this  corner meeting in the context of elections’ move.

There was another gathering at Tveita centre Oslo where Ghulam Sarwar from Labour party asked from the Norwegian Pakistanis to come out from homes for casting poll their votes.

On the occasion, Mian Safdar a journalist from Kharian who currently on visit to Norway, asked the Norwegian Pakistan to actively participate in elections.

Mr Iqbal Denny who is affiliated with Liberal Party said, demand for relaxation in visa rules could not be raised in election move. It is a regulation for everyone, not only for the Pakistanis.

Beside the other people a Norwegian Pakistani lady actively contesting the elections in Oslo but her party may not has prominent position in the urban areas. About her election move, Ms Aisha Naaz Bhatti from Pakistani origin who is candidate for national assembly from Centre Party said, I came out to motivate the Norwegian Pakistani females to participate in the politics.

Pakistanis are one of the largest immigrant communities in Norway and it is almost their second and third generations in the country. In 1970s, the first generation of Pakistan came into Norway as guest workers but most of the people belonging to their second and third-generation are born in Norway and they are well established as many of them are professionals. They have also a strong presence in higher education, media, and politics. In 1970s, most of these immigrants were young energetic male population that came from areas surrounding the town of Kharian in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

The Norwegian legislature, the national parliament “Storting:, will be elected for a new four-year term. All the 169 parliamentary seats are being contested by the candidates of different parties throughout the.

The previous elections which were held on 9 September 2013, was resulted into a victory for the Conservatives and their right-wing allies. The Conservative Party, led by Erna Solberg, and the right-wing Progress Party and some small parties had formed collation government, with Solberg as Prime Minister.

There are currently approximately eight political parties represented in the Norwegian parliament, all of whom are participating in the 2017 elections. These are Labour party, Conservatives (H), Progress party (FrP), Christian Democratic party (KrF), Centre party, Liberal party, Social left party and Green party.

Not doubt, the elections is important for everyone in Norway and all of them should realize this important by casting their votes but which party would form new government, this question is before time. Anyhow, some analysts say, current set up may continue because opposition parties’ popularity could not increase significantly in the recent years.

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