UK Paliament: Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims and other religious minorities in Pakistan - Ahmadiyya Media Library

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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

UK Paliament: Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims and other religious minorities in Pakistan

The House of Commons Library prepares a briefing in hard copy and/or online for most non-legislative debates in the Chamber and Westminster Hall other than half-hour debates. Debate Packs are produced quickly after the announcement of parliamentary business. They are intended to provide a summary or overview of the issue being debated and identify relevant briefings and useful documents, including press and parliamentary material. More detailed briefing can be prepared for Members on request to the Library. Jump to full report >> 

According to the International Religious Freedom Report 2014, released by the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor: 

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 196.2 million (July 2014 estimate). According to the most recent census conducted in 1998, 95 percent of the population is Muslim (75 percent of the Muslim population is listed officially as Sunni and 25 percent as Shia). There are also an estimated two to four million Ahmadi and 500,000 to 800,000 Zikri Muslims. Groups officially constituting the remaining 5 percent of the population include Hindus, Christians, Parsis/Zoroastrians, Bahais, Sikhs, Buddhists, and others. Other religious groups include Kalasha, Kihals, and Jains. There is one known Jew. Less than 0.5 percent of the population is silent on religious affiliation or claims not to adhere to a particular religious group.


It also observed that: 
The government’s general failure to investigate, arrest, or prosecute those responsible for religious freedom abuses promoted an environment of impunity that fostered intolerance and acts of violence, according to domestic and international human rights organizations. Government policies did not afford equal protection to members of minority religious groups, and due to discriminatory legislation such as blasphemy laws and laws designed to marginalize the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, minorities often were afraid to profess freely their religious beliefs. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), police registered 12 new cases under blasphemy laws during the year and the courts sentenced three individuals to death, six individuals to life imprisonment, and three individuals to two-years of imprisonment for blasphemy. The government did not carry out any executions for blasphemy during the year. The government announced it would create a national council for minorities with Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh representatives.

Attacks against ethnic Hazara Shia in Balochistan occurred throughout the year. There were targeted killings of Shia Muslims and those accused of committing blasphemy. Societal intolerance persisted, including mob attacks, blasphemy accusations, and violent extremist activities. Violent extremists in some parts of the country threatened citizens who did not follow their authoritarian interpretation of Islam. 

The National Council for Minorities referred to by the report does not appear to have been established yet. The federal government was ordered to create it by the Supreme Court, as one element of a 2014 ruling on a number of cases of alleged infringements of minority rights in Pakistan. The Court also directed the federal government to establish a task force to ensure the protection of minorities, implement a strategy for promoting religious tolerance, and evaluate school curricula to encourage greater religious and social tolerance. 

Until 1974, the status of the Ahmadi was no different from that of the Sunni majority. Since then laws have been passed that have deprived them of their status as Muslims and turned them into ‘second class citizens’. Independent observers agree that, while there is not systematic state persecution of Christians, law and practice in Pakistan is in key respects discriminatory against them and other minorities. 



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Commons Debate packs CDP-2016-0039 
Authors: Timothy Robinson; Jon Lunn 
Download the full report Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims and other religious minorities in Pakistan  PDF, 152.75 KB) 




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