Stop persecution of Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan, ask community leaders

Mar 16, 2019

Geneva, (Switzerland), Mar 16 (ANI): The Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan, which continues to face persecution, is demanding an amendment in the law so that they can live with dignity. At a side event during the 40th session of UN Human Rights session in Geneva, the leaders of Ahmadiyya sect said they have no right to practice their religion, no rights to vote whereas they are being targeted on false cases of blasphemy. Fareed Ahmad, secretary for external affairs, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, UK said, “In the recent elections (in Pakistan) we were denied the right to vote on those elections because to vote in Pakistan we have to state that we are non-Muslim or non-Ahmadi and neither of those choices are something that we can sign on.” It was in 1974 when Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Bhutto amended the Constitution to declare Amhadiyyas as non-Muslims. In 1994, General Zia-ul-Haq amended the penal code to introduce the `Ordinance XX’ making it a criminal offence for Ahmadiyyas to call themselves Muslims or practice their Islamic faith. Dr. Iftikhar Ayaz, an Ahmadiyya leader and chairman of International Human Rights Committee, United Kingdom raised concerns over the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan on the members of Ahmadiyya community. He said, “Blasphemy laws were made to mainly target the community. There are other religious communities too, but the blasphemy laws were to primarily punish the Ahmadiyyas.”